Leadership Coach, Institute for Excellence in Education
Dedicating over 40 years to improving the lives of students and professional educators, Dr. Stephen (Steve) Barbus has devoted his career to helping others achieve more than they thought possible. Coaching teachers and administrators to become informed classroom and school leaders as they turn data into information, ultimately informing instruction, has been Steve’s primary focus for the Institute for Excellence in Education since joining the team in 2012. Currently, Steve support the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation Grant work in Michigan.
Early on the journey, driven by a passionate belief that all children deserve a quality education, Steve dedicated over eight years to teaching and learning where he made a difference in the lives of children, firsthand, while serving as a traditional classroom teacher, therapist and special education teacher from 1977 through 1985.
Motivated by a desire to have a profound impact on public education and the preparation of teachers early in his career, Steve shifted from the traditional K-12 learning environment to higher education, where he served as a Doctoral Associate, Assistant Professor, Departmental Chair and Associate Professor for Saginaw Valley State University’s College of Education from 1985 through 1997.
In 1997, Steve was tapped to become Principal of the Mackinaw Trail Middle School for Cadillac Area Public Schools. In his quest to further expand his contributions to influence a larger community once again, Steve returned to Saginaw Valley State University in 1999 where he served as a Professor, Associate Dean and Dean within the College of Education. With a desire to further contribute and share best practices, Steve became a Leadership Coach for Central Michigan University’s Center for Excellence in Education in 2011, prior to joining the Institute for Excellence in Education.
Steve earned his Doctorate of Education degree from Western Michigan University in 1988, Master of Education from Eastern Michigan University in 1982 and Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University in 1976. Combined with his rich experience in public and higher education, Steve is widely recognized as an expert in the industry and has contributed much thought leadership through numerous professional development and presentation opportunities, association memberships and school board member service.