JAY, Okla. – Longtime educator and Jay alumni Leann Barnwell was named District 6 Superintendent of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators.

“Barnwell has led through a pandemic along with many other challenges,” said Dr. Pam Deering, OASA executive director in a prepared statement. “She has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for students to learn, grow and realize their full potential.”

Barnwell is among the best of Oklahoma administrators, she said.

“She (Barnwell) understands the need for economic development and how the school should be at the center and we all need to work to improve our community,” said Becki Farley, Jay mayor.   

Farley said Barnwell is the best definition of a leader. Everything Barnwell does is for the students, she said.  

As a leader, Barnwell has always stated that every project is because of a great team, she said.

“You always need the team and the team is always an important aspect of each task but every team needs a great leader,” Farley said.

The Jay community, school, and Delaware County have a great leader in Barnwell, she said.

“I have been fortunate to go to work every day and love what I do,” Barnwell said. “This is such an honor to be selected by fellow administrators in our region.”

Gifted with a teaching heart, Barnwell said she chose the educational field because of the teachers, coaches, and administrators who influenced her life over the years.

The highlight for the Jay native is watching students achieve their goals and building relationships with students that help them to succeed.

Barnwell, who is now in her second year as superintendent, said all area administrators are so deserving of this award because of the work in their schools and communities to provide students with the best education possible.

As is her habit in sharing credit, “My administration team and office staff should be receiving this award because at Jay Public Schools it is teamwork and for that, I am truly grateful.”

A 37-year educator, Barnwell has taught and coached many different levels from kindergarten through 12th grade.

She served as superintendent of Kansas Public Schools for six years, then crossed state lines, and was an administrator at Bentonville West High School.

Barnwell will be recognized at the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration Summer Leadership Conference held June 7 through 9.