Lee Barrios is a hands on leader and retired educator working to enhance K-12 education in Louisiana. Lee is a tireless advocate for practical education reforms and an outspoken critic of several current education policy efforts being enacted in the state and nationally.
As a mother, grandparent, former teacher and business woman, Lee has traveled the State of Louisiana the last five years informing parents, attending legislative meetings and consulting and conferring with a wide array of stakeholders to develop real solutions to the challenges facing parents and students in today’s world.
Lee was born in Baton Rouge where her dad was enrolled at LSU after returning from WWII as a B-24 navigator, but she had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as an Air Force “brat” always enrolled in local public schools. Her dad was assigned to LSU as Professor of Air Science after serving as a pilot in Korea and then a flight instructor in Germany, and she began 10th grade at Baton Rouge High School where she graduated.
Lee was a member of the AFROTC Honorary Auxiliary-Angel Flight, Pi Beta Phi Sorority and the LSU bowling team during her two years as a student at LSU. Her dad was assigned to Taiwan as C-130 pilot and chief of maintenance during the Vietnam Conflict while she moved on to New Orleans. Lee was employed as an administrative assistant at the law firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre until she married and moved with her former husband to Ohio State University where he earned his graduate degree in fine arts/sculpture while she worked for the Ohio Contractors Association.
They returned to New Orleans and then the Northshore where they raised three children and she pursued a variety of personal and professional interests.
Lee became a horse enthusiast and riding instructor serving as both President of the Louisiana/Mississippi Dressage and Combined Training Association and as Co-District Commissioner of the Tammany Trotters Pony Club.
Her professional career was primarily focused on her administrative assistant skills as owner of “9 to 5” Typing Services, court reporter transcriptionist, and manuscript typist for the well-known writer, Walker Percy. Mr. Percy inspired her to return to school at the age of 42 to obtain her degree in English and Journalism Education and her masters degree in Secondary Education which qualified her for both a two-year stint reporting for The Baton Rouge Advocate and 17 years as a teacher of gifted students in St. Tammany Parish. During her 17-year teaching career Lee achieved National Board Certification, was recognized as a 2004-05 Louisiana PTA Educator of Distinction and served as President of the St. Tammany Association for Gifted/Talented Education.
Just prior to retirement in 2010, Lee began collaborating with stakeholders in Louisiana and nationally in defending public education from the growing market-based reform efforts to promote privatization by removing the democratic foundation of our locally controlled school districts.
Lee has travelled at her own expense to lobby and advocate for real public education reform in Washington, DC, and Baton Rouge. Her experience, expertise and firsthand understanding of the challenges of providing a quality education for every child best qualify her for a position on the policy-making body, the Louisiana State Board of Elementary & Secondary Education.