Jill Barela named Bamford Elementary's next principal

Jill Barela will bring 18 years of Poudre School District educational experience with her when she takes on her new role as principal of Bamford Elementary in the 2024-25 school year. 

alt""Barela, who is currently principal at Timnath Elementary School, began her PSD career in 2006 as a fourth-grade teacher at Kruse Elementary School. After teaching for seven years, she became the school’s assistant principal and advanced reading and math teacher in 2013. She has been principal at Timnath since 2018.

Having watched the Bamford school community develop since the ground-breaking ceremony, Barela said she has been impressed with what the administrators and school community have accomplished since the school opened three years ago. 

 “The positive school culture coupled with a focus on problem-based learning that teaches students to use empathy and design thinking to make positive changes in their community are just a couple factors that make Bamford special,” she said.

As principal of Bamford, Barela says she will bring her commitment to “servant leadership,” collaborating with staff and the school community as they make decisions together that positively impact students and school culture.

PSD Assistant Superintendent Julie Chaplain described Barela as a dedicated and passionate leader.

“She has a proven track record of ensuring student success, collaboratively creating systems of support, and making positive impacts for all.  Jill will continue to uphold the positive culture and climate at Bamford, while navigating challenges with her staff as they continue to grow and adjust over time,” said Chaplain. “She is a very thoughtful, data-driven leader and I am excited for her to take on this new opportunity in PSD.”

Barela received her master’s degree in elementary education in 2007 from the University of Northern Colorado and her bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science in 2004 from Colorado State University. 

In college, Barela was interested in both education and medicine but her strong desire to make a difference in the lives of children guided her to thoughtfully choose education as her career path.  

“I believe education is the gateway to opportunity, so that drove my decision to become an educator. I also love building positive relationships with children, which makes going to work each day a joy,” she said. 

Barela attended PSD schools while growing up and credits the quality education she received for giving her the knowledge and skills to pursue her passions. “I want to make sure that type of educational experience is a right that is realized for all children in our community,” she said.

Outside of work, Barela’s favorite thing to do is to spend time with her family. She and her husband, Tyson Barela, have been married for almost 20 years and have two high school-aged children. Barela grew up in a family with three brothers who she says, “had a large part in shaping my interests as well as my personality.”