Meet the Princpal

Principal Karen Barker 

Dear Clara Barton Community,
I am so proud to be the principal of our school, Clara Barton Elementary. I have been dreaming of this school for over 10 years, formally planning it since April 2017 before opening in September 2018.  I have a five-year vision of what I know we can build with the amazing staff that I have hand-picked from 13 LWSD schools.  Our staff is the secret to the successes of our school.  They are committed to our vision, inspired to serve students with a variety of backgrounds and needs, and are invested in growing Clara Barton into the highest quality education for students in our nation.

I was raised in Bellevue and attended Western Washington University, where I received my B.A. in Education. I taught in Bellingham, Oak Harbor and Northshore prior to coming to Lake Washington.  I continued my education with a Master of Science degree from Emporia State University, followed by Educational Leadership from the Danforth program at the University of Washington. I have served as the principal of Dickinson Elementary and Explorer Community Schools prior to being selected to ‘dream big’ about planning and building this amazing school.

On a personal note, I love spending time with my husband, two daughters and the greatest dog in history, Pepper.  I enjoy reading, spending time at the beach, and finding joy each day to fuel my need for fun.  My passion is ‘all things school’ and I truly love being a principal.  The privilege of serving students, teachers and families fulfills me in a way that makes me excited to come to work each day.  

Our planning team developed a strong sense of purpose for Clara Barton Elementary.  We believe in developing children both academically and socially. Our students will learn and practice the Barton Five Critical Success Skills: empathy, gratitude, grit, integrity, self-discipline, and embracing diversity. These skills will be taught and developed through regular experiences including integrated service-learning projects and are based upon our foundational text: The Formative Five, by Thomas Hoerr.  We encourage parents to read this text (we have many copies available to borrow), as it has many applications beyond the school setting.  We will use the new toolkit from Character Strong for elementary schools as a pilot for this instruction during the 2019-2020 school year.  

Our staff is dedicated to meeting the needs of each student as we appreciate the gifts they bring to our school family.  Our goal is to ensure the Clara Barton Elementary is an inclusive, equitable and engaging learning environment for all students.  I look forward to developing collaborative relationships with your family in our shared goal of achieving a rich academic and social learning experience for your child!

I welcome the opportunity to meet with you further around any areas of concern or interest.  Please contact Office Manager Trilogy Jones to make an appointment should the need ever arise.
Karen Barker


 Associate Principal Marianne Williams

Dear Clara Barton Families,

I am truly honored and privileged to be joining such a dynamic community as your new associate principal!  I am eager to begin this journey with your child and anticipate a wonderful year as Principal Barker and I work together to support your child’s academic, social, and emotional growth.  

I was raised in Lake Forest Park and attended the University of Washington where I received my Bachelors in Psychology.  I then received my Master of Arts in Teaching and teaching certificate from Seattle Pacific University.  I have been an educator in the Issaquah School District for ten years.  I have taught fourth grade for seven years, been an elementary instructional coach for two years, and most recently the Dean of Students at Sunset Elementary while completing my Masters in Educational Leadership and Principal Certification program from Seattle Pacific University. 

I have a passion for education and advocating for what’s best for students.  I believe that positive relationships are foundational to the culture of a building and look forward to building strong relationships with staff, students, parents and community partners.  I will work to continue offering the students at Clara Barton with the highest quality education by providing an atmosphere where all students feel safe, valued, and successful.  I am excited to collaborate with Principal Barker to ensure that all students at Barton receive a rewarding and challenging educational experience while guiding students to make a positive impact on their school, community, and world.  

On a personal note, I have been married to my husband Brian for a year and a half.  I love to travel, hike, and spend time with family and friends.  We both love the Seahawks, and I am a devoted University of Washington Husky fan, while Brian roots for University of Alabama.  

I believe in open communication and I am here to support the Clara Barton community.  My door is always open so please stop by my office and say hello, as I am really excited to meet each and every one of you!  

Marianne Williams
Associate Principal