CMS Principal Dr. Timisha Barnes-Jones named Southwest Region Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year

A principal in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has been chosen as the Southwest Regional Principal of the Year. Dr. Timisha Barnes-Jones, who leads West Charlotte High, will advance to competition for the state principal of the year.

The interview team for the regional event included the 2018 SW Regional teacher and principal of the year, and the SW Region Wells Fargo community liaison. Wells Fargo sponsors the competition.

The team said that Dr. Barnes-Jones was not only a great leader but she was indefatigable in her work at West Charlotte. Team members also praised her for a strong focus on equity, an ability "to do more with less" and her success in creating and maintaining a constant and positive culture for staff and students.

"I am humbled and honored," Dr. Barnes-Jones said after the announcement Jan. 8. "I was so glad that I could tell the story of how we brought the polish and the pride back to West Charlotte. It felt good to represent West Charlotte and CMS at the regional level."

Dr. Barnes-Jones has been an educator for more than 21 years, 19 of them in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She began her career early, singing in public by the time she was 9 years old and winning a role in the movie "The Color Purple."

She began her work in education by teaching music in what was then Renaissance Elementary (now Renaissance West) and Winterfield Elementary. She then shifted to high school, joining the faculty at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, where she started a school chorus and helped write the school song, which is still in use today. She taught chorus and orchestra at Olympic High, chorus at Independence High and became an assistant principal, helping to close E. E. Waddell as a high school (it is now a K-8 language academy). She was then assistant principal at Vance High before joining West Charlotte as an assistant principal of instruction and then becoming co-principal and finally principal.

Dr. Barnes-Jones earned her bachelor's degree in music from Davidson College, a master's degree in education from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and a doctorate in education from Gardner-Webb University.

Dr. Barnes-Jones will now compete with seven other regional winners for the title of 2019 NC Wells Fargo Principal of the Year. She will be interviewed for the competition on Feb. 22 in Cary. The winner will be announced May 10.