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District News

photo of Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson

Princeton Public Schools announced Tuesday that Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson will be the Supervisor of Science effective July 27. Dr. Barnes-Johnson has a Ph.D. in Urban Education/Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Temple University with a primary focus on STEM education teaching. In addition, she has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Montclair State University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina. She has taught science at Princeton High School since 2007.

"Dr. Barnes-Johnson is known for her intellect, her leadership, and her compassion," said Dr. Carol Kelley, Superintendent of Princeton Public Schools. "She has received many honors, she has impeccable academic credentials, and she is known as an eloquent advocate for students."

Dafna Kendal, President of the Princeton Board of Education, noted that Dr. Barnes-Johnson is held in high esteem in the community and among PPS students. "The Board is thrilled that we have such an accomplished and prominent educator to take the helm of the science department for grades 6-12," said Ms. Kendal. "Dr. Barnes-Johnson, with her many years of experience at Princeton High School, is known for empowering students and inspiring colleagues. She is an innovator and a leader who over the past 15 years has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to our students and our community."

Dr. Barnes-Johnson was recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education in 2021 as an Exemplary Secondary Educator. She has been honored by the Princeton YWCA with its Tribute to Women Award for the Greater Mercer County Area. She has also been honored by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) with the MLK Jr. Human & Civil Rights Award. 

Dr. Barnes-Johnson, who began her teaching career in Montclair, has taught for more than twenty years with a focus on chemistry, material science, environmental science, and STEM-related humanities studies. In addition, she has published articles that address teacher preparation, policy and curriculum design. She has led professional development programs for the district, for individual schools, and in the community. Dr. Barnes-Johnson helped to create, facilitate, and teach the well-respected racial literacy course at Princeton High School. During her years as an educator, she has also taught English, chemistry, and science education courses in China, Jamaica, and the United States. She also enjoys working with graduate students as a dissertation coach.

In addition, Dr. Barnes-Johnson volunteers with various educational outreach programs throughout NJ. She is the program committee chair at the Paul Robeson House of Princeton and is actively involved with the Trenton branch of the NAACP, particularly with ACT-SO, an achievement program for high school students.

Dr. Barnes-Johnson is currently writing a book framing the role of Black educators and their allies working inside and outside of classrooms as a means of passing on a heritage of joy to adjacent youth and communities.

As Supervisor of Science, Dr. Barnes-Johnson will focus on grades 6 -12.By reorganizing existing administrator roles, PPS has a created a new, budget-neutral position of Supervisor of Elementary Education. This role will directly coordinate curriculum, instruction, and professional development at each of the four elementary schools. As PPS continues to draft the Strategic Plan, one of the targeted areas is "Focus on Early Years: Age 3 through Grade 3."Thisreorganization provides greater attention and support to the early grades. 

As part of the reorganization, the district has shifted the Supervisor of Mathematics and Business Education and Supervisor of Science positions to focus on grades 6-12,and to align with the Supervisor of 6-12 Humanities position. Each supervisor will share their expertise with the new elementary supervisor.


photo of Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson