Former Superintendent, Orange County Public Schools
Barbara Jenkins is the former superintendent of Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Florida, the nation’s ninth-largest system with more than 206,000 students across 202 schools. She spent more than 30 years in OCPS and served as superintendent from 2012 to 2022. Under Dr. Jenkins’ leadership, the district won the prestigious 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education, which came with half-a-million dollars to support student scholarships. OCPS received the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2014 and 2015, as well as the Sustained Excellence Award in 2017 for exemplary performance using research-based best practices. In 2015, the district earned accreditation from AdvancED. In addition, OCPS received accolades from the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the number of students earning exam scores for college credit.
Dr. Jenkins is a nationally recognized education leader. In 2017, she received a presidential appointment as a director of the National Board of Education Sciences. She is a chief in residence with Chiefs for Change, providing coaching, advising, and thought partnership to fellow Chiefs for Change members and participants in the Future Chiefs leadership development program.
Dr. Jenkins serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of the Great City Schools and the Florida Council of 100. She also sits on the board for a number of other organizations, including Educational Testing Service; New Teacher Center; Strategic Education Research Partnership; and the SAT Suite Committee. She is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.
In 2017, Jenkins was named Florida Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for the national title. The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents named her Hispanic-Serving School District Superintendent of the Year, and the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education named her CTE Superintendent of the Year. Both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Magazine have named Jenkins as one of the 10 Most Powerful people in Central Florida on multiple occasions; in 2018, Orlando Magazine ranked her number one in education among its 50 Most Powerful. The Orlando Business Journal honored her as a CEO of the Year in 2015. She also received the Visionary Award from the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council and was named Central Florida Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council. Dr. Jenkins is deeply engaged in her community and serves on the boards of Advent Health; United Arts of Central Florida; Orlando Economic Partnership; and The Citizens Commission for Children.