Campus News

Dr. John Barker, Humboldt native and UTM alum, to address graduates at spring commencement, May 2


Contact 1: Bud Grimes


MARTIN, Tenn. – Dr. John Barker, chief accountability officer for Chicago Public Schools, will address graduates at the university’s spring commencement exercises at 11 a.m., May 2, in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.

Barker, a Humboldt native, graduated summa cum laude from UT Martin in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He served as student body president during the 1988-89 academic year before graduating and continuing his education at Vanderbilt University. He earned a master’s degree in public policy from Vanderbilt in 1990 and a doctoral degree in education and human development, also from Vanderbilt, in 1997.

He spent seven years in administrative roles at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., before returning to Tennessee in 2002. He then spent many of the next 11 years working in the Memphis City School System as research evaluator; executive director of the Department of Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Student Information; and chief of staff. In 2013, Barker left Memphis to begin his current position as chief accountability officer with Chicago Public Schools, where he leads the district’s efforts in student assessment, teacher/principal evaluation, performance management and data quality.

Barker is currently a member of the board of directors of both City Year Chicago in Chicago, Ill., and Special Kids and Families, Inc., in Memphis. He is also a member of the American Association of School Administrators, the American Education Research Association and the American Evaluation Association.

Each graduating student can receive up to six commencement tickets. Any tickets that remain unclaimed by 5 p.m., May 1, will be distributed beginning at 9 a.m. on commencement day outside the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. The commencement ceremony will be broadcast live over the internet, and can be viewed at the following link:

For more information on commencement, contact the UT Martin Office of University Relations at 731-881-7615.


PHOTO CAPTION – Dr. John Barker


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