Desert Vista announces new principal - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

Desert Vista announces new principal

Barela recommended to take on new role

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Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 4:45 am | Updated: 9:39 am, Mon Jul 28, 2014.

Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) will be recommending Christine Barela to replace Dr. Anna Battle as principal of Desert Vista High School.

Barela has been assistant principal/registrar at Desert Vista for 12 years.

She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and received her Masters of Education in administration and supervision.

Barela started her teaching career in the Kyrene School District and joined the TUHSD as an assistant principal of activities at Tempe High School in 2002.

There were two candidates up for the position, Barela and assistant principal for Mountain Pointe High School, Mary Keller.

Both candidates underwent a series of different interviews and on Monday, Barela and Keller participated in a community forum at Desert Vista to answer a series of questions provided by parents and students.

Each candidate had 30 minutes to address the crowd and give their statements.

Questions ranged from incorporating technology in the classrooms, expectations for being principal at Desert Vista, having the students’ voices heard, and spreading school spirit across the school.

“I have a passion for education and a passion to see every student achieve at a very high level. It is our responsibility to make sure that that happens and I believe with my experience as an assistant principal, as well as my education, I believe I have a very solid foundation and able to lead Desert Vista,” Barela said.

Barela is focused on keeping the achieving standards high at Desert Vista and making sure no student is left behind.

“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 making 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.

According to a district press release, Barela will continue her role as assistant principal at Desert Vista until the close of the school year, and will transition into her new role as principal and assist with the transition of a new assistant principal/registrar.

“Dr. Battle and Mrs. Barela are committed to making the leadership change at Desert Vista go as smoothly as possible. I look forward to working with Mrs. Barela and the Thunder community and thank the parents and students for all that they do to support Desert Vista High School,” said Superintendent Kenneth Baca.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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