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BISHOP McNAMARA HIGH SCHOOLA Catholic, Holy Cross, Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Grades 9-12

Bishop McNamara High School Announces Dr. John Barnhardt as President/CEO


Dr. John Barnhardt

Bishop McNamara High School, a Catholic, Holy Cross, coeducational, college preparatory, liberal arts school, today announced that Dr. John Barnhardt has been named the new President and Chief Executive Officer. The Board of Directors and the Brothers of Holy Cross confirmed that Barnhardt will officially start his new role as the school’s fourth President/CEO on June 1, 2020.

Originally from northern Wisconsin, Dr. Barnhardt, a lifelong educator, has dedicated his career to building and refining transformational schools for students and families in the DC region. Most recently, he served as the Director of School Design for KIPP DC, a management organization that oversees 18 schools across the District of Columbia. Over his 12 years at KIPP DC, John has designed, built, and led top-ranked schools. Prior to his leadership at KIPP he served as the President of Wisconsin Union, a membership division for alumni and student life at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where John played a significant leadership role in a campus master plan and capital campaign. 

“We believe that John will be an exceptional leader for Bishop McNamara High School. His leadership has been motivated by the relationships he has with students, parents, alumni, and faculty and staff communities,” said Robert N. Summers, board chair at Bishop McNamara High School. “John recently shared with me that while it was at first the legacy of Bishop McNamara High School that attracted him to our school it is the values that our Bishop McNamara family stands for that humbles him and calls him to become our next President/CEO.”

With his experience, Dr. Barnhardt believes strongly in an education steeped in faith like that of the Holy Cross tradition and commits to modeling this in every facet of school leadership. He also believes that his responsibility as a school leader is to maintain and strengthen the necessary conditions that allow students and faculty to be highly engaged in teaching, learning, and growing in their faith and academic study. 

John Barnhardt and his family

Dr. Barnhardt received degrees in Sociology and Legal Studies from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters in the Art of Teaching from American University, and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.   

He resides in Greenbelt, MD in Prince George’s County with his wife Erica and their three children, Jackson, Brooklyn, and Mason.