Catherine Barbour

(she, her, hers)

Senior Director, Equitable Learning & Systems Improvement

Catherine has spent over 30 years helping some of the lowest-performing districts and schools in the nation achieve equity-driven improvement. Catherine enjoys partnering with the talented staff and leaders in each school and district, helping them embrace data and collaborate to make changes that support student outcomes.

Catherine knows how schools work: she started as a teacher and later became an assistant principal and a principal. Drawing on this experience, Catherine meets educators where they are before offering coaching and advice to help them enact organizational change.

Catherine started her career teaching third grade under the staircase and around the corner in a two-story building. (All new teachers got assigned to this classroom to stay out of sight of visitors.) Eventually she joined the first grade team that worked collaboratively, even spending summers together to plan the next school year. That experience ignited her passion for building collaborative learning teams and teaching reading—two key drivers of school improvement. Catherine has led three school turnarounds—urban, suburban, and rural—as a credentialed school turnaround specialist.


  • M.Ed., Elementary Administration, The College of William and Mary
  • B.A., Elementary Education, Christopher Newport University
  • Turnaround Specialist Credential in School Turnaround Leadership, University of Virginia Darden School of Business and Curry School of Education

A book I've read more than once is...

There are so many good books to read that I don't reread books. My bedside table is stacked with books that are waiting in line to be enjoyed.

Is cereal soup? Why?

No - soup is loaded up with vegetables and some type of broth. Cereal is oftentimes grain based and crunchy.

Catherine Barbour

Areas of Expertise

  • Equity-centered school improvement
  • School leadership training and coaching
  • System improvement
  • Continuous improvement systems