The 2014-15 school year is right around the corner, and Desert Vista High School’s new principal, Christine Barela, plans to continue the tradition of success for which the school is known.

Barela, who worked as the assistant principal and registrar for the past eight years, was hired as Desert Vista’s principal in March after her predecessor, Dr. Anna Battle, was hired as assistant superintendent for district operations for Tempe Union High School District.

Barela graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and received her master’s in administration and supervision.

She began her teaching career in the Kyrene School District and joined Tempe Union as an assistant principal of activities at Tempe High School in 2002, under the leadership of Battle.

“She is an incredible leader and a mentor,” Barela said. “I love her dearly and believe in her leadership and philosophy … she’s such a visionary and people person.”

Barela has grown to love the communities of Desert Vista and Ahwatukee, where she has lived for the past 26 years.

“The community is absolutely amazing, the teachers are amazing and I’m absolutely blessed and honored to have this opportunity to lead such an amazing school,” she said.

For her first year as principal, Barela is focused on creating an atmosphere of “shared leadership” throughout the hallways of Desert Vista — not only through teachers and administration, but also students and parents who are vested in propelling Desert Vista to success.

“We have many different leaders at our campus, so we will continue to do what we have done,” she said.

Barela is focused on keeping the achievement standards high at Desert Vista.

“Desert Vista’s community is amazing … they believe in excellence and are passionate about everything they do,” she said. “Students are the No. 1 reason why we are here and we have to build those positive relationships and make it deliberate.”

Barela understands that high school can be a difficult time for students, with immense pressure on their shoulders, and she wants to lend support to each student.

“I want to encourage them. I want to be able to help every student reach their potential. My vision is always going to be keeping the students in the forefront,” she said.

Barela is eager to build upon the school’s success in academics, extracurricular activities and athletic programs.

“It’s wonderful to experience all the accolades and all the accomplishments of all the students,” she said. “I’m looking forward to strive for excellence on all the decisions I make, and putting students first at every decision that I make.”

The first day of school at Desert Vista is Monday, Aug. 4.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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