Featured Champion: William R. Barker

“The consequence of a quality education becomes more apparent to me every year that passes,” says William R. Barker, Chair of Champions For Learning’s Board of Directors, “It’s vitally important to the health of ourmary beth and bill barker community to support our teachers and students.  Teachers impact all students and we celebrate that fact by shining a light on the best practices of our teachers each year through Golden Apple.  And our programs for students involve mentors that help them model the way to a successful education and set them on a positive life path encouraging us all through their hard work and dedication to getting a quality education. Many are first generation college students.”

Bill Barker moved to Naples, with his wife Rita, his son Cameron and his daughter Caylie following shortly thereafter, from the Tampa area in November of 2013. Bill is currently the regional publisher of Journal Media Group and president and publisher of the Naples Daily News. He also oversees operations at newspapers located in Knoxville, Tennessee; Anderson, South Carolina; Evansville, Indiana; and on Florida’s Treasure Coast.

As a father of two, Bill has seen the challenges and opportunities facing teachers and students. As a result, Bill places a high value on education. His involvement in education dates back to his service in Richmond Virginia on Hanover County’s Education Foundation where he served on the Board of Directors. When he moved to Collier County, Bill became involved with Champions For Learning. Beginning in 2014, Bill served as Vice Chair on the Board and is currently leading the organization as Chair.

“I’m proud of being a part of one of the top 25 education foundations in the nation,” says Bill. “With this exceptional board and their leadership, we’re providing a rallying point for the community to come together and get behind the education of the next generation.”