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Region IV Director

Barbara Turner

Director of Magnet Programs | Richland School District Two

Barbara Turner

Barbara Turner serves as Director of Magnet Programs for Richland School District Two in Columbia, SC where she has a deep-rooted commitment to educational excellence and a passion for fostering inclusive learning environments. Throughout her career in education, she has been steadfast in advocating for innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

As an educator with more than 20 years of experience in both classroom instruction and administrative leadership roles, she has witnessed firsthand the transformative impact that magnet schools can have on students, families, and communities. Her work with magnet programs started as a MSAP Grant Coordinator managing a magnet implementation plan and budget of $1.8 million. Her role as an Education Associate at the South Carolina Department of Education allowed her to be instrumental in developing a statewide definition for magnet programs. In addition, she provided technical assistance and professional development to magnet school leaders across the state.

In her current role, she provides support to lead teachers of 37 magnet programs by assisting with program design, implementation and sustainability. She spearheaded a magnet program evaluation process by working with NIMSL to ensure magnet program accountability. Under her leadership, magnet programs in Richland Two have received numerous MSA Merit Awards of Excellence and Distinction, the National Magnet Principal and Teacher of the Year Awards, National New and Emerging Merit Award of Excellence, and the District Award for Magnet Sustainability. Richland Two is second behind Miami-Dade for the highest number of Nationally-Certified Demonstration Magnet Schools.

Barbara has served as Specialized Director on MSA’s Board of Directors, on MSA’s Legislative and Regulatory Policy and Awards Work Groups, been a reviewer for the MSA Teacher of the Year award, and presented at MSA’s fall and national conferences. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia College in Chicago and an Education Specialist degree from the University of South Carolina.

Learn how to become a Nationally Certified Magnet School

Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.

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