El Dorado County school official starting new chapter in life

By: Art Garcia, Telegraph Correspondent
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Vicki Barber may be retiring June 30 as El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools after nearly 20 years but she won’t be settling into the easy life without work.

Rather, Barber, 61, who has lived in El Dorado Hills since 1978, already has outlined three priorities for herself after leaving office.

In order of preference, “They’re all number ones to me,” she said.

“I will continue to support the county office of education and doing some things to assist it,” said Barber, who earned a doctorate in educational psychology at the University of the Pacific and $180,000 a year as superintendent.

“We have been very active in working with charter schools and in special education throughout the state. Assuming Jeremy will be appointed county superintendent by our board, I assume I will be involved in that and will continue to support that effort,” she added.

Jeremy Meyers, deputy superintendent of county schools, was recommended by Barber to be her successor. The school board concurred and he’s expected to be named superintendent at its February 5 meeting, serving until 2014, when the post will be open for election.

Barber’s husband, Louis, works with school districts and county offices throughout the state in doing medical billing and helping make sure schools get resources from the federal government for children with disabilities who are Medi-Cal eligible. “I will do some work in that area helping him,” she said.

For her third post-retirement activity, Barber expects to do special education and charter schools consulting. “I’ve been approached by some national organizations to do some work in other states to help them follow the model we’ve established here in working with schools and improving student achievement in those areas,” she said.

Barber has been with the county’s education office since 1982 and was first elected superintendent in 1984.

She also has master’s degrees in state government from California State University, Sacramento, and in special education from Chapman College.

Barber said she’s proud as superintendent of “instilling a culture of cooperation, collaboration and working together to make a difference for kids” in the county’s 15 school districts. “We do a very good job of working together and maximizing our resources,” she said.

She and her husband, who serves on the El Dorado Hills Fire Board, like to travel and have been on seven continents. They have four grandchildren, soon to be five, as well as several great grandchildren, and plan to spend more time with them after June 30.