Barry Blackburn Named Virtual Education and Ballet Academié Administrator

Barry Blackburn earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from University of South Alabama and his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida.  He taught music at Valparaiso Elementary School for three years and at Plew Elementary School for fifteen years and has been a part of the budgeting, scheduling and School Improvement process at Plew Elementary School as well as other administrative duties. 

“He is highly technological and has been a leader in professional development across our county for the elementary music teachers,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Alexis Tibbetts.  “Barry is an extremely hard worker and is committed to getting the job done whatever it takes.  He goes far beyond the minimum expectations in all that he does.  His willingness to work as a team player with fellow teachers and administrators is admirable.  He is very dependable and dedicated.” 

Blackurn’s work at the Ballet Academié will be aided by his strong background in fine arts.  He also has been involved with numerous on-line programs and this will assist in his transition to managing Okaloosa On-Line and Florida Virtual which are growing programs. 

“Barry is very organized and is truly a people person,” said Tibbetts. “Teachers in our virtual programs and at the Ballet Academié will benefit from his talent and communication and management skills.   He will assist fine arts educators across the county in coordinating professional development and recruiting students in their programs.  Parents at the Ballet Academié and virtual education programs will appreciate his extensive knowledge in these areas.  What Barry does not know he will quickly learn because he is very smart and willing to take on new challenges.”

Blackburn is a member of the Florida Music Educators Association and the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. 

“He is passionate about the arts and understands the value art education programs have in our schools,” said Tibbetts. “He will share his enthusiasm and passion for the arts across our school district.”  

Blackburn is a product of Okaloosa County Schools. He attended Plew Elementary, Ruckel Middle School and Niceville High School.  In high school Barry was a member of the prestigious Opus 1 Choral Ensemble.  His grandmother, mother and aunts and uncles were educators.  He taught with his mother at Plew Elementary for seven years.  Barry sings with two professional music ensembles in our local community including the Phyllis Merritt Singers and Okaloosa Chamber Singers.  He is interim music director of Rosemont Baptist Church in Niceville and is an active member of First Baptist Church of Niceville where he sings in the Chancel Choir and rings hand bells.