Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell appointed Mike Hernandez and Annette Barnes to positions in the department.
Hernandez has been selected as deputy commissioner.
Hernandez will assume his new position July 1. He will replace Tony Wood, who will leave the position effective June 30.
“Mr. Hernandez’s leadership style and expertise have prepared him to be ADE’s next deputy commissioner,” Kimbrell said. “His background as a teacher, administrator and assistant commissioner give him a well-rounded perspective that will greatly benefit schools and education in Arkansas.”
As deputy commissioner, Hernandez will work with ADE, legislators and school districts on finance, legislation and other education issues.
Hernandez has served as the assistant commissioner for Fiscal and Administrative Services since July 2013. As assistant commissioner, he oversees the agency’s finances and the distribution of funds to public schools.
Prior to working for ADE, Hernandez served as superintendent at Danville Public Schools for two years and was the principal/athletic director for Western Yell County High School in Havana for one year. Before becoming an administrator, he taught in Fountain Lake Schools in Hot Springs, Hot Springs Middle School, Danville High School and Marion Abramson High School in New Orleans.
Hernandez has a bachelor of science in biology and a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from the University of Central Arkansas. He received a level 1 certificate in math, science and physical education grades 7 through 12 from the University of New Orleans. Hernandez also received a Master of Arts in Education Leadership and is working on a doctoral degree in Education Leadership from Harding University.
He is a member of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators and the Arkansas Association of School Business Officials.
Kimbrell also announced that Annette Barnes has been selected as the assistant commissioner for Public School Accountability.
Barnes will assume her new position July 1. She will replace John Hoy, who was recently appointed as superintendent of the Helena-West Helena School District.
“Barnes has been instrumental in ensuring Arkansas’ compliance with state and federal laws,” Kimbrell said. “Her assistance to schools regarding compliance has prepared her for this new role.”
As assistant commissioner, Barnes will assist districts with educational standards compliance and desegregation orders. She also will oversee monitoring activities and Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility.
Barnes is currently the coordinator for School Improvement and Standards Assurance, a position she has held since 2005. During her 19 years at ADE, Barnes has coordinated federal, school improvement, standards assurance, accountability and compliance programs, in addition to providing technical assistance to school districts in academic distress.
Prior to working for ADE, Barnes was a counselor and teacher/coach for Hall High School and Southwest Junior High School in the Little Rock School District. She previously served as a counselor/teacher for Rivendell Psychiatric Center for Children and Youth and taught at Arkadelphia High School.
Barnes received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Central Arkansas. She later received a Master of Science in Education with a middle school science certification from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. She received secondary principal administrative certification from UCA.
Barnes previously served as a coach and facilitator for the Arkansas Leadership Academy. She also attended the first Individual Principal’s Institute in 1996 and collaborated in various capacities with the Master Principal’s Program.