Dr. Houston Barber is the Superintendent with the Frankfort Independent School District, where he utilizes expertise in leadership and equity, fiscal management, education policy development, and instructional effectiveness to achieve milestones and ensure full operational fulfillment. Houston has worked with highly-qualified, cross-functional teams and has experience interfacing with staff, faculty, and the community in order to foster communication and connection between all parties involved in a given district initiative.
He attended Marquette University, and upon graduation, coached various teams of Cross Country and Track and Field at South Oldham from 1998 – 2001. Afterwards, Houston went on to get his Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville where he was named Most Outstanding Master’s Degree Student. He transitioned to becoming a principal in Jefferson County Public Schools and served as Principal at Fern Creek High School. During this time, he received his PhD from the University of Louisville in 2007. Dr. Houston Barber and his team turned around Fern Creek High School and he was awarded the 2013 Hilliard Lyons Outstanding Principal. In December of 2013, Dr. Barber was appointed the Principal of the Academy at Shawnee in West Louisville. Houston was awarded a Certificate of Distinguished Service from the Louisville Metro Council in 2014. Houston also received the Region 7 Kentucky Outstanding Civic Leadership Award in 2014 from Secretary of State Allison Grimes. Business First recognized Houston as one of the 20 People to Know in Education and in 2015 Leadership Louisville recognized Houston as a 2015 West Louisville Connector.
In addition, he has taught leadership and education courses at Bellarmine University, University of the Cumberlands, and University of Louisville. Houston has co-written and published several research articles.
Dr. Barber currently serves as the President-Elect for the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents and Chairman for Kentucky Capital Development Corporation (KCDC). Houston also serves as a board member on the Bluegrass State Skills Corporation. He teaches and mentors new superintendents in Kentucky through the Kentucky Association of School Administrators. Furthermore, he is the Co-Chair on the Board of Managers for Kentucky’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute for School Principals. He was selected on the Education and Workforce Development Transition Team for Governor Elect Andy Beshear in 2019. Dr. Barber completed the District Leadership Institute for GEAR-UP in 2020, the National Institute of School Leadership Superintendent’s Academy in 2019, and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement American Express (AMEX) Fellowship in 2019.
Dr. Barber is currently enrolled in the Harvard Business Analytics Program and participates in the Schlechty Center’s Superintendent’s Network and National Center for Education Research and Technology (NCERT).
Houston holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change, as well as an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Louisville. Houston is married to his wonderful wife Darra Jarrett Barber and is a father to four beautiful children – McLain, Preston, Kenzie, and Parker.