John Travis joined Barr in August 2022 as senior program officer for Education with primary responsibilities in the Invest in Educators strategy, focused on work at every phase of the teacher and school leadership pipeline to help recruit, develop, retain, and cultivate the talented, diverse educators needed for the schools of today and tomorrow.
John came to Barr after nearly 15 years as a frontline educator, first as a high school mathematics teacher in New Jersey and then as a school and district leader in the Boston Public Schools (BPS). In his most recent role, he served as the principal of the Ohrenberger School in West Roxbury. Leading through the COVID-19 pandemic, he supported his community to remain united in service of students, families, and one another, leveraging data to attend to demonstrated student needs. Focused on equitable student outcomes, he worked with his team to launch multi-tiered systems of support for attendance, academic, and social-emotional interventions leading to improvements in student learning and growth outcomes and state accountability metrics. Prior to leading at the Ohrenberger, he trained as a principal fellow at the Harvard-Kent Elementary School in Charlestown and worked as Director of Human Capital Strategy with the BPS central office, supporting school leadership pipeline development.
Born into a family of educators in West Philadelphia, John built an early, foundational understanding of American educational inequality through lived experiences and opportunities he received that were not afforded to everyone in his neighborhood. Inspired by family, faith, and experience, he became an educator to pursue the day when all students have access to opportunities that place them on the path to college and career success.
John completed an A.B. in Economics at Princeton University with certificates in Teacher Preparation and Musical Performance, and a Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
John enjoys spending time with his wife, extended family and friends (especially over a good meal), is active in his church community through worship singing and small group meetings, and remains an avid and die-hard Philadelphia sports fan.