Crystal T. Barnes was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. She is a product of Caddo Parish, culminating with the honor of being a proud 1999 graduate of the historical Booker T. Washington High School. She continued her studies at “Dear Old” Grambling State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. After leaving Grambling, Mrs. Barnes went on to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching from Northwestern State University.
In 2005, she began her teaching career in Bienville Parish at Ringgold High School, under the leadership of Mr. Bill Davis. With a desire for being closer to home, in 2008, Mrs. Barnes returned to Caddo Parish; to give back to the school system that helped to cultivate her foundation. She continued her quest for molding young lives at Walnut Hill Elementary/Middle School, under the guidance of the esteemed Mr. Albert Hardison. During her time at Walnut Hill, Mrs. Barnes blossomed into an excellent educator and served in several leadership capacities. To list a few: ELA Department Head, 8th grade Department Head, and PLC Leader. To further validate her educational excellence, Mrs. Barnes was named the 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year at Walnut Hill. As well, she was a finalist for District Teacher of the Year for the same school term.
Mrs. Barnes also serves on many district level teams: the Interim Assessment Creation and Review Team, the Recruiting and Retention Advisory Council, and the Caddo ELA Task Force. While continuously attending professional developments to become an even greater educator, Mrs. Barnes continued on her lifelong, learning journey and received her Educational Leadership certification. She knew she had an impact on the lives of her students in her classroom, but embraced her calling to expand that impact on a grander scale.
When she is not devoting her time to the children of Caddo Parish, Mrs. Barnes is spending quality time with her supportive husband, Jimmy Barnes, Jr., and their three beautiful children.
Mr. Daryl Adams is a 1996 graduate of LSU-Shreveport where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Along with his Bachelor’s degree Mr. Adams completed his alternative certification in 2000 from LSU-Shreveport and obtained his Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration from Arkansas State University in 2014 .
In high school Mr. Adams was fortunate to have several exceptional teachers and coaches that instilled in him the desire to be a teacher. After working in the business world for two years he decided to follow his dream into education. Mr. Adams served as a classroom teacher for nineteen years at North Desoto High School, Southwood High School, and Huntington High School before being named assistant principal at Booker T. Washington in 2014 .
Mr. Adams is married to Regina Adams, has four children, and one grandchild. He loves riding his motorcycle, traveling to the mountains, and is an avid Route 66 enthusiast. His biggest inspiration in his life was his father Mr. Ron Adams who instilled in him by example the responsibility to serve those around him, especially children. Psalm127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.
Booker T. Washington Middle-High School welcomed La Donna Nelson as Assistant Principal of Instruction of Middle School during 2015 - 2016 school year. Mrs. Nelson joined Booker T. Washington with eight years of school administration experience, having served as Instructional Coordinator at Blanchard Elementary and Assistant Principal of Instruction at Vivian Elementary Middle. Before becoming an administrator, Mrs. Nelson taught for 10years as a middle school English Language Arts Teachers and 2 years as a paraprofessional for middle and elementary school.
Mrs. Nelson earned her Bachelor Degree of Arts and Sciences in Communications from Louisiana State University of Baton Rouge and Masters Degree of Educational Leadership from Louisiana State University of Shreveport. Outside of her school time, Mrs. Nelson is the proud mother of four children who were educated in Caddo Parish Schools and are now productive citizens of society serving as a medical doctor, educator, certified public accountant, and fire fighter. As a product of Caddo Parish Public Schools, as well as serving as teacher/leader and administrator roles, Mrs. Nelson’s philosophy of education is that she believes that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is Mrs. Nelson’s desire as an educator to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas.
Montrell Whitaker is a native of Shreveport, LA. He is a 1998 graduate of C.E. Byrd High School with honors as well as a 2002 graduate of the University of Louisiana Monroe with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration concentration in Business Management. He received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix Dallas Campus in August of 2006 and received his Doctorate in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University in May of 2015. He furthered his educational endeavors through obtaining a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX in May 2016.
For the last 12 years Dr. Whitaker has dedicated his life to aiding and teaching at-risk youth. He started his career with Dallas ISD as a District Behavior Unit Teacher where he worked with students suffering with Emotional Disturbance and/or Mental Retardation. He then continued his career relocating back to Shreveport and serving as Inclusion Teacher at J.S. Clark Middle School Micro-society and Booker T. Washington High School then known as BTW New Technology. Since being at BTW, Dr. Whitaker has served as Assistant Basketball Coach, Gentlemen’s Club Sponsor and assisted in various other organizations and activitIes. Through hard work he was promoted to Lead Special Education Teacher in which he served for 4 years.
In summer 2016, Dr. Whitaker was again promoted, this time to the position of Administrative Assistant. He served in this position for one year and was deemed worry of yet another promotion being promoted to the position of Assistant Principal of Administration/Discipline at Booker T. Washington High School. He has proudly served in this position for the past year and will continue in this position this upcoming school year. In addition, Dr. Whitaker is the Senior Pastor of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church of Shreveport, LA. In his spare time he is a motivational speaker, life coach, and the CEO of Creative Life Consultants, LLC. a life and career coaching organization. He is the founder of the M-Pact Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on improving the academic standards of at-risk youth and working towards inner-community improvement. Dr. Whitaker has many social involvements including membership in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Free and Accepted Prince Hall Masons of Louisiana, NAACP, Habitat for Humanity, and the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. He is the proud husband of Mrs. Shenika Whitaker and godfather of 5 children.
He credits God for all things that he has been able to accomplish and quotes,
“To God Be the Glory for the Things He Has Done.”
Mrs. Esther Otu-Nyarko is a native of Ghana, West Africa. After migrating to the United States at the age of 15, she completed High School and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York on Westbury, Long Island. She began her teaching career at the Elementary Level in 2001 with the New York City Department of Education. While teaching, she went on to earn dual Masters of Science degrees in Teaching Literacy and School Administration & Supervision from Touro College, New York.
Mrs. Otu and her family transitioned to Shreveport in 2013. She joined the ELA team at Walnut Hill Middle School in 2014 under Mr. Albert Hardison. In 2016 she joined the Booker T. Washington team as Content Coach, and transitioned into the TAP Master Teacher role in 2017.
At the end of the 2018-2019 school year she was appointed Interim Assistant Principal of Instruction and then transitioned into her current role as Assistant Principal of Instruction.
Mrs. Otu firmly believes in providing equity for all learners by providing them with the highest quality of instruction, while developing them socially and emotionally. This belief is grounded in her favorite quote by James Baldwin, "For they are ALL our children, we will either profit by, or pay for, what they become".
When she is not serving, leading or learning, Mrs. Otu spends family time with her husband, Dr. Charles Otu-Nyarko, and their three amazing children.