Written by Newspaper Staff Reporter Kamran Padilla
Mr. Christian A. Barnes is an administrator here at Allatoona, and with his brief time here, he has been a favorite across the campus. He is an extremely positive person, and you can hear his joy from across the school with his whistling through the halls, his voice on the overhead speaker, or on a Friday night with his amazing singing voice. He is one of the most positive men here, always trying to spread that positivity around. Allatoona is all happy to know and meet Mr. Barnes and sad to say goodbye, but we do wish him the best of luck with his new job as Principal in Rome, Georgia, at Rome Middle School.
Mr. Barnes used to work at a funeral home, and that is where he got his inspiration to go into education. The Funeral Director there was in education for over 58 years and had so many inspiring stories. The Funeral Director taught the great-great-grandchildren of some of the first students she taught, and on hearing that, Mr. Barnes wanted to leave an impact on students by him being as positive as he can be and inspiring children. He wants to know he impacted someone and that they are doing something great in their life so they can later inspire someone themselves. He wants the best for everyone.
Education has been a big part of Mr. Barnes’ life in the past two-plus decades for his students and even himself. He went to four different colleges and universities to get multiple degrees to teach and become an educator. Mr. Barnes says he did not choose Allatoona; Allatoona was picked for him. He did not have the choice of school, the Superintendent is the one who picks the school; as he says, “In this job, you do not have the choice of any school. Allatoona was picked for me, and that was the perfect choice. I see Allatoona as the Disney of schools here in Cobb County, and it has been nothing but amazing here.”
Mr. Barnes’ expectations for his new job in Rome are great. He wants to make sure that his staff works together to ensure that the students get the best learning environment they can get. With any school, the teachers are the ones that inspire the students and set them on that path of success, and they cannot do it without each other. Mr. Barnes knows this, and therefore, he wants to make sure that the teachers and students work together to create an amazing and positive school. Mr. Barnes wants to make sure he can create this system and says, “I want to be the thermostat. A thermometer checks the temperature of things and people but does not set the temperature. A thermostat sets the temperature, and I want to set that positive mood through the school and its people.” He wants to make sure he sets that positive mood through the school, and he still is setting the same mood through Allatoona even though he is leaving soon. He still puts his full effort into Allatoona even if he has only a short time remaining with us.
Our staff asked Mr. Barnes this question: “Do you have any words for Allatoona, the staff, or even the students?” and he has the best response to it, “Absolutely, wow. I want to say a lot, but I will try to sum it up. Continue to stay true to who you are, and do not change that. Be the best you can ever be, and always find the win-win in everything you do.” It is sad to say goodbye, but this ride was amazing. Thank you so much for being who you are, Mr. Barnes, and Godspeed.
Editor's Note: Mr. Barnes' last day at Allatoona High School will be Friday, October 14th. We wish him the best at Rome Middle School and will miss him here!