Meet the Principals

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 Heather Anderson James

I am thrilled to serve the Clara Barton Elementary community as Associate Principal. My background includes teaching K-12 students, serving as a Summer School Principal, heading multiple committees,  and a variety of other leadership roles. I am passionate about education and academic excellence!

I have a bachelor's and master's degree in education from Central Washington University, a doctorate in educational and organizational learning and leadership from Seattle University, and I received my administrative credentials through Western Washington University.  I hold endorsements in Elementary Education, K-12 Reading, English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Middle-Level Humanities. I absolutely love the art and craft of teaching!

A bit about me: my husband and I are the proud parents of six children (5 daughters and 1 son) and grandparents of two. Our family loves to spend time riding bikes, playing board games, and cooking together.

I look forward to partnering with our families, staff, and community as we work together to support every Barton student to be "future ready"! Please reach out via Parent Square if I may be of service to your family.

Dr. Heather Anderson-James