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Kiefer, Barcelona named Principals of the Year

Pearland Independent School District named Shadycrest Elementary’s Michelle Kiefer and Berry Miller Junior High’s Tony Barcelona as the 2023 Elementary and Secondary Principals of the Year.

Principals Kiefer and Barcelona are dedicated administrators who have made a profound impact on the lives of their students, teachers and communities.

Michelle Kiefer, Shadycrest Elementary

An inspiring leader who always puts her students first, Kiefer has been a principal at Shadycrest for the past 10 years and has served in education in various roles for over 28 years. As a principal, she believes in affording all students the opportunity to learn and succeed in a supportive and non-threatening atmosphere.

“I believe that one of the main goals of education should be to help each child become independent and productive members of society,” she said. “This is achieved through a partnership between the schools, parents, children and community. I believe all these components are necessary to ensure that each child can be successful in school and in life.”

As an educator, Kiefer also believes in teaching students that learning never stops.

“Learning is a process that continues lifelong. If students have a positive school experience they will want to continue to learn, even after they graduate from high school,” she said.

Prior to serving as the principal at Shadycrest Elementary, Kiefer was an assistant principal at Pearland ISD for six years, a school counselor in Pasadena ISD and a Pre-K and Kinder teacher at Pasadena and Killeen ISDs.

Kiefer has a Master of Science in School Counseling from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Political Science from Troy State University. She loves being able to connect with students every day and create a positive, lasting impact.

“I love going into classrooms and watching the incredible instruction that takes place every day.  I love seeing the smiles on students’ faces when they are having fun learning.  I love collaborating with teachers and helping them grow into experts in their content area. Knowing that our school can make a positive impact on the entire community motivates me to give 100% each day.”

Berry Miller Junior High’s Tony Barcelona

In his third year as a principal, Barcelona creates a positive impact every day at Berry Miller Junior High. With 19 years of service to Pearland ISD, before becoming a principal, he served as an assistant principal for a total of 11 years at Berry Miller, Pearland Junior High South and Silverlake Elementary. Barcelona began his career with Pearland ISD as a Physical Education teacher at Rogers Middle School from 2003-08.

“My vision for our students, teachers and staff is continuous growth. We want our students and staff to seek excellence each day and know that success in the future is determined by the choices we make today,” he said. “Continuing to grow as a person, educator and student is the vision and mission of Berry Miller. As we say every day, ‘Bobcats are always learning, Bobcats are always leading, and Bobcats are always pursuing personal success.”

Barcelona is motivated by students and, as a principal, celebrates every student’s success and hurts with any losses.

“Our future is in great shape with our Berry Miller and Pearland ISD students leading the way,” he said. “They keep us as educators always looking to grow and learn so we can help them become young, productive adults.”

Barcelona has a Master of Science in Educational Management from the University of Houston Clear Lake and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University. He believes teachers are the backbone and most important piece to any great school. 

“The devotion, commitment and level of care they have for their subject and students is nothing like I have ever seen,” he said. “We, as a society need to start recognizing the importance of our teachers before it is too late.”