Barbara W. Thompson has a passion for educating students„ź particularly those with learning challenges. Her years of service to the teaching profession are marked by a commitment to excellence, creative teaching strategies, and an unwavering belief that all students can learn. She brought those ideals to Montgomery Public Schools when she was named superintendent on August 1, 2009.
During the three years she has been with Montgomery Public Schools she has made some impressive gains.
She expanded the district’s core curriculum beyond an emphasis on reading and math to include more science and technology; rigor was increased with the addition of more Advanced Placement offerings and by introducing three International Baccalaureate candidate schools; the number of pre-kindergarten classrooms in the district from six to 22; moved all ninth grades into high schools and created true middle schools; implemented new programs to address student dropout and truancy; initiated a new facilities study to update the district’s building plan, opened four new schools and a comprehensive high school career technical center; increased technology in classrooms with the addition of nearly 300 SMART boards and implemented a plan aimed at reducing the district’s energy consumption by $1.5 million annually over 10 years.
Superintendent Thompson has also pursued a number of funding opportunities which have resulted in roughly $28 million in federal, state and other grants for academic purposes.
Under her leadership, four high schools received national recognition by being named among Newsweek’s and U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools in America; three MPS elementary schools received the prestigious Alabama Torchbearer School designation; and a high school was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, one of only 314 in the nation.
Prior to coming to MPS, she was superintendent of the New Glarus School District in New Glarus, Wisconsin for six years. During her tenure, New Glarus was recognized nationally by Hewlett Packard in the area of technology for three years. She was also credited with helping to pass a recurring referendum, balancing a budget deficit, expanding technology, successfully writing grants to fund innovative projects, and greatly improving student achievement in the district. In addition, she piloted several innovative math, science, and biology programs in corporation with University of Wisconsin-Madison, which increased educational options for students.
Superintendent Thompson's skill as an educator has garnered her several professional honors, including being named a Fulbright Teacher Intern to Kanazawa, Japan.
Her service to children has not been limited to her work in K-12 schools. Superintendent Thompson currently serves on the boards of the Committee of 100, YMCA, Arts Council of Alabama, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Alabama Early Childhood Advisory Council.
Superintendent Thompson graduated cum laude from Spelman College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Major District Accomplishments 2009-2012
·Several schools recognized for outstanding achievement:
a.Highland Avenue Elementary named Alabama Torchbearer School for a record fourth time-2011
b.T.S. Morris Elementary named an Alabama Torchbearer School-2010
cE.D. Nixon named an Alabama Torchbearer School-2009 and 2010
d.LAMP, BTW, Brew Tech and Carver High named among nation’s top schools by U.S. News and World Report
e.T.S. Morris Elementary was named a U.S. Department of Education 2011-2012 Blue Ribbon School (only 314 schools in the nation receive this designation annually)
f.Brewbaker Technology Magnet High was named a U.S. Department of Education 2009-2010 Blue Ribbon School
g.BTW Magnet High School was named a top high school in America by the Washington Post’s Challenge Index-2010
h.Lee High School JROTC earned the highest rating attainable by Headquarters ROTC, the umbrella for all JROTC programs, for exceeding Air Force JROTC standards-2011
i. Jeff Davis High Teaching Academy among the first teaching academies in the nation to be recognized by the National Academy Foundation for exemplary programming and high quality
·Jeff Davis High teacher Quebe Bradford one of 16 state finalists for the 2011-2012 Alabama Teacher of the Year-2012
·Capitol Heights Counselor Dr. Joan Williams named Alabama Counseling Association’s State Counselor of the Year 2012
·LAMP teacher Dianne Frucci named Southern Regional AP Teacher of the Year-2012
·Bellingrath BI Denise Whittle earns national award by Auburn University’s College of Education for effective anti-bully awareness campaigns -2012
·Fifty-nine MPS students named among the best scholars in the nation through the National Merit, National Hispanic and National Achievement scholars programs in the last three years
·In October 2012, MPS students received more than $52,000 in incentive checks from A+ College Ready for earning qualifying scores in AP courses.
·2012 Senior Class earned $23 million in scholarships to two- and four-year institutions, up from $15 million the previous year
·District received $1 million social work grant to expand counseling and mental health services-2012
·District increased the number of Pre-K Programs from six to 22
·District opened the McKee Pre-K Center-2011
·Since 2008, MPS has increased its AP course offerings from 22 to 33; increased AP qualifying scores by 168 percent from 195 to 522; increased AP qualifying scores by minority students by 226 percent from 47 to 153; and increased enrollment in AP math, science and English by 94 percent from 638 to 1,238.
·Received over $100,000 in donations (money and items) for classroom supplies.
·Received a three-year $11.1 million grant to work with the four lowest performing middle schools in the system.
·Rezoned all elementary and middle students for attendance and safety reasons.
·Moved all middle schools to a 6-8 grade configuration from four different grade configurations.
·Moved all sixth grades into middle schools and all ninth grades into high schools and established sixth and ninth grade learning academies.
·Expanded seven new career academies at our four traditional high schools. About 570 students are currently enrolled.
·Expanded a dual enrollment program with Trenholm State allowing up to 100 students to participate in college level career tech classes while enrolled in high school.
·Expanded mentoring programs for at-risk students.
·Principal reassignment to new schools in an effort to match administrator skills with student needs.
·EMERGE volunteers now provide financial aid workshops to seniors at all traditional high schools annually
·Montgomery Technical Education Center (MTEC) opened- 2012
·Teach for America Program implemented at Lee high School- 2012-13 school year.
·LAMP, Johnnie Carr Middle and MacMillan International approved as International Baccalaureate Program candidates
·Added Pre-Advance Placement classes/programs in all middle schools.
·Implemented a district-wide school uniform policy.
·Implemented (COMPASS) a K-12 software program for student remediation and credit recovery.
·Implemented Credit Recovery and Grade Recovery programs which resulted in over 400 additional graduates in 2011.
·Added Response to Instruction (RTI) structure to the district.
·Added robotics programs in eight middle schools.
·Added Nano-Biology training for teachers in middle schools.
·New aerospace engineering program at Brewbaker Tech.
·Employee Assistance Program initiated and implemented.
·Wilson Elementary and Crump Elementary were selected as Model Schools for the state WAY to a Healthier Alabama Campaign.
·E.D. Nixon Elementary was selected to participate in a groundbreaking pilot student on obesity in Alabama.
·Implemented the Accelerated Academy for overage middle school students.
·Launched the R.O.C.K Respect anti-bullying awareness campaign with Family Sunshine Center
·Implemented a new human resources screening program (Teacher & Principal Insight) to ensure that the best quality staff members are in our district.
·Added PD360 – a computer based training system to allow teachers to learn skills in specific areas.
·Implemented leadership training for principals and central administrators for the first time using the expertise of Maxwell Air University staff.
·Continuation of a home grown training program with Samford University to develop school administrators.
·Working with Alabama State University on the “Change Process” staff development for administrators.
·Working with Alabama Best Practices Center.
1.Key Leaders Network. – All senior high principals involved in training.
2.Training for “Zone Leaders.”
·Park Crossing High to open fall 2013
·Consolidated and closed six schools.
·Opened four new schools.
·Renovated Dozier, Pintlala, Dalraida Elementary schools and Brewbaker Tech HS
·Implemented Energy Education Program throughout the district to reduce energy consumption.
·Seven MPS schools received beautification grants from the Montgomery Clean City Commission.
·Chamber program to ensure all campus are groomed before school starts continues.
·Re-opened the district arboretum (32 acres) for outdoor classroom learning experiences and training.
·Twenty-three schools have earned the coveted Energy Star rating from the U.S. Department of Education
·District received $1 million to install SMARTBoards in every classroom
·District website was named one of the state’s best school websites by the Alabama School Community Information Network- 2009
·Launched a new district website.
·Training to integrate iPad technology into the classroom and for improved efficiency in the administrative areas.
·Regular speaking engagements by the superintendent to community groups and attendance at more than 300 community events and meetings.
·“Rumor Has It” feature on the website provides an easy method for parents to ask questions.
·Partnered with Capitol City Connection to regularly broadcast special events, school performances, meetings and other information on cable.
·School and district events broadcast weekday mornings on the “School Bell,” which airs weekdays at 7:45 a.m. on WVAS-FM
·Regular Op-Ed pieces by the superintendent in the Advertiser.
·Community forums on important issues.
·Regular meetings with religious community leaders to update about school projects, programs and initiatives.
·Launched MPS Parent/Teacher Magazine which informs the community about good things happening in our schools and is distributed to all elementary and middle school students and the community
·Zone Hall meetings were held to update the community on the progress of the five Strategic Plan
·Board Polices placed on the website
·Launched CANDO Nation, a database where volunteers find needed service projects in schools-2010
·Superintendent highlighted education issues in three economic development trips, domestic and international, resulting in a partnership agreement with Hyundai Motors and the potential for additional industry.
·Unprecedented cooperation with city, county and state governments in coordinating response to weather emergency.
·Expanded Career Academy Advisory Councils to outline the MPS Career Academy vision and career pathways that will be available at our traditional high schools.