Organization: National Association of Elementary School Principals
Organization 2: Cherry Park Elementary School in Portland, Oregon
Barbara A. Chester is the co-presenter for Seamless Preschool to Elementary Transitions: The Role of Elementary Principals in Creating Prek through Grade 3 Alignment. Barbara, a 28-year veteran principal, is the elected president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), which represents pre-K-8 educators in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP is led by board members who are practicing principals and key instructional leaders, actively involved in shaping the long-term impact of school improvement efforts.
Chester is an experienced leader and award-winning principal whose efforts have been recognized at the district and national levels. For the past eight years, she has served as principal of Cherry Park Elementary School in Portland, Oregon. Under her leadership, Cherry Park was a finalist for Oregon’s 2007 Celebrating Student Success Award, which recognizes schools that show significant progress in student math and reading achievement and significant improvement in student achievement for minority and/or low-income students.
In 2005, Chester was named NW Regional National Distinguished Principal and she received the David Douglas School District Apple Award. As principal of Cherry Park, she and her staff received the City of Portland Mayor’s Award for Youth Service for community service (2004-2005).
Chester began her education career in 1974 as a teacher in Oregon’s Kent School District. She served as a principal in the Federal Way School District (1982-1985) before moving to Colorado, where she served as a principal and staff development director for the Englewood School District. She returned to Oregon in 1989 and served as a principal in the North Clackamas School District until 1995, when she took a position as a principal in the David Douglas School District, where she currently serves.
As president, Chester wants to use NAESP’s collective voice on Capitol Hill to advocate for the creation of powerful, common-sense policies that will positively impact students throughout our nation. She believes NAESP can provide principals with professional support that will help them improve the learning communities they lead. Her experience as an NAESP member since 1985 and as the former chair for Zone 9 will help her lead NAESP and its members in setting standards for 21st century learning. She has promoted school improvement at the state level as an active member and former president of the Oregon Elementary School Principals Association. She is also a member of the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators.
Chester earned a B.A. in elementary education from the College of Idaho and an M.Ed. in education administration from the University of Washington..