Holly Mourns Loss of Former Superintendent Kent Barnes

Holly Mourns Loss of Former Superintendent Kent Barnes

(HAS, Aug. 14, 2020)

HOLLY, MI — The entire Broncho community today honored former Holly Area Schools Superintendent Kent Barnes, who died Aug. 12 at age 69. Barnes, who served as superintendent from 1999 through 2013, is remembered as a champion for all Bronchos, and a dedicated civic leader.

“On behalf of our entire Broncho family, I’d like to offer my deepest condolences to Kent’s family and friends during this difficult time,” said Scott Roper, Holly Area Schools Superintendent. “Kent represented what Broncho Pride is all about, including working tirelessly to provide innovative learning opportunities for all Bronchos that positioned them for success and bright futures, no matter their aspirations. His leadership both in our district and throughout Holly will be greatly missed.”

A Kentucky native, Barnes launched his teaching career in 1980 at Murray High School in Murray, Kentucky, and went on to teach and coach football in several other Kentucky districts. Before arriving in Holly, he was Superintendent of the Greenup County School District in northeast Kentucky from 1994 through 1999.

Barnes, who took the Holly position to be closer to and care for his wife’s family, retired as superintendent in 2013. He remained active in the Holly Area School district long after retirement, substitute teaching, volunteering in Holly Elementary School classrooms, attending special student events, and participating in numerous civic groups.

He was known for having a distinct “radio voice” recognizable during athletic events and when calling families at the crack of down to declare a snow day. He was also a pioneer in using podcasts to send video messages to families, staff and local residents to highlight the latest Broncho happenings.

Barnes played a central role in passing the district’s 2003 and 2006 bond proposals that improved buildings throughout the district to best serve the needs of all students. During the Great Recession of the late 2000s, Barnes had to make difficult decisions to continue classroom programs and keep the district moving forward.

“Kent was truly a one-of-a-kind leader, and continued to mentor teachers and staff to provide a world-class education to all students long after he left our hallways,” said Steve Lenar, Holly Area Schools assistant superintendent of administrative services, who worked alongside Barnes for many years. “He embodied what it means to be an educator, working around the clock to serve his students and community. Kent has left a huge void in our district we will strive to fill for years to come.”

View a Holly Area Schools video celebrating Barnes’ life.

Learn more about Holly Area Schools by visiting www.hask12.org, or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

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