Educator Profile    Educators

Jessica Barnette (NC '22)


Rocky Point Elementary School
Rocky Point, NC

Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
Grade(s): K, 1

At the time of the Award, Jessica Barnette was:

Rocky Point Elementary School
Rocky Point, NC

Subject(s) taught: General Elementary
Grade(s): K, 1

Biographical Information

Jessica Barnette believes in her students’ ability to succeed. Barnette teaches a combined kindergarten–first grade class at North Carolina’s Rocky Point Elementary School, where she integrates research-based strategies to build blended and differentiated learning opportunities for the school’s youngest learners. She pays close attention to data, creating measurable goals and tailoring targeted interventions as needed, consistently producing positive growth for her students in both grade levels. Barnette never hesitates to dive into independent research to ensure the best outcomes for her students. And they are reaching their goals—in her 2021-22 K-1 blended class, all students ended the year at or above grade level on mCLASS reading assessments.

Barnette has served as grade-level chair and participates on the Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions (PBIS), data and school leadership teams. She mentors beginning and pre-service teachers, taking a collaborative and inclusive approach to helping them develop differentiated lessons, behavior management strategies and supplemental interventions. Barnette worked with Pender County Schools to design a K-2 report card and progress report for the district, as well as math curriculum resources. During the pandemic, she transitioned seamlessly to whole-group and small-group instruction online and helped colleagues navigate virtual instructional resources. When three lead teachers left their positions midyear, Barnette jumped in to create engaging standards-aligned lessons for instructional assistants and substitutes to make sure students’ learning continued without interruption.

Culturally aware, creative and nurturing, Barnette begins her instruction with a focus on establishing positive relationships with students and their families. She goes above and beyond to make sure students feel safe and parents know their children are well cared for. Barnette’s impact is reflected in her students’ attitudes—they come to school excited to learn and eager to demonstrate their knowledge.

Barnette is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and holds a bachelor’s (2015) and a master’s (2018) in elementary education.

Press release: Happy Birthday to ... the Next Milken Educator, Rocky Point Teacher Jessica Barnette!

Related Connections

Article: Spotlight: Jessica Barnette (NC '22)

Educator Quote:

"Guiding students down the path of being a lifelong..." (read more)

Jessica Barnette In The News

UNCW Alumna Jessica Barnette Named a National Milken Educator Award Winner
University of North Carolina Wilmington  |  Dec 14, 2022  |  Wilmington, NC

WATCH --> Rocky Point Elementary Teacher Wins $25,000 Milken Educator Award
WECT-TV  |  NBC / FOX  |  Dec 13, 2022  |  Wilmington, NC

WATCH --> Local Rocky Point Teacher Receives Milken Educator Award
WWAY-TV  |  ABC / CBS  |  Dec 13, 2022  |  Leland, NC

Pender Elementary School Teacher Wins National Award, $25,000 Prize
Bladen Online  |  Dec 13, 2022  |  Elizabethtown, NC

Pender County Schools Teacher Awarded $25,000 award
Port City Daily  |  Dec 13, 2022  |  Wilmington, NC

Additional Information


2018 M.Ed., Master of Education in Elementary Education, University of North Carolina Wilmington

2015 B.A., Elementary Education (K-6), University of North Carolina Wilmington