Meet our Principal

Karen Barker is the principal at Explorer Community School and Emily Dickinson Elementary. She interned at both Maywood Hills Elementary in the Northshore School District and at Odle Middle School in the Bellevue School District.

Ms. Barker has taught in the Oak Harbor School and Northshore School districts for the past decade as a math and reading instructor as well as a health and fitness teacher and curriculum developer. She earned her bachelor's degree at Western Washington University and her master's degree from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan. She graduated from the University of Washington's (UW) Danforth Educational Leadership Program in June 2011.

“After 13 years as an educator, I still have a passion for learning, and wake up each day excited to come to school,” states Ms. Barker. “I am thrilled to lead this wonderfully diverse community of learners, and I am truly looking forward to a successful year ahead.”

On a personal note, Ms. Barker is married to a teacher-turned-police officer, and they have two young daughters. Ms. Barker loves to read and exercise, and states, “I have much to be grateful for and I try hard to live a life that models my personal mission: to inspire excellence through integrity, hard work, and joy.”