NCLA Podcast
NCLA Podcast
Jul 28, 2021
Best Practices in CTE in Amarillo, Texas with Jay L. Barrett: A Vision for the Future
Play • 46 min

This past June, Jay became the principal of AmTech Career Academy in Amarillo, Texas, a $60 million renovation of an old Sears/Hastings facility. Tune in to hear about the inception story for this center and his vision for the future of Career and Technical Education in this community. 

Take a virtual tour of the campus here:

Find out more about Jay's background and experiences in education and CTE below.

Educational Career

  • Jay has 36 total years of experience in public education.
  • He has been a principal at all levels in Amarillo ISD in Amarillo, Texas for 26 of those years.
  • Principalships include:
    • Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning (AACAL), a STEM/CTE campus (2008-2021)
    • Travis Middle School (2000-2008)
    • Forest Hill Elementary School (1995-2000)
  • Other administrative work:
    • Associate Principal, Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, Texas (1993-1995)
    • Assistant Principal, Tascosa High School in Amarillo, Texas (1991-1993)
  • Before becoming an administrator, Jay taught English and coached tennis at Pampa High School in Pampa, Texas (1985-1991)
  • Jay began his career in education by doing his student teaching in Rota, Spain, through the Department of Defense Dependents program.
  • While at AACAL, Jay co-founded Gateway to Health Careers, a regional program that now trains over 600 students annually in 27 high schools in the 26,000 square miles of the rural panhandle of Texas.

Recent Awards

  • 2019 HEB North Texas Secondary Principal of the Year
  • 2019 Elbert K Fretwell Outstanding Educator of the year by the Golden Spread Council of Boy Scouts

Community Involvement

  • Deacon, First Baptist Church
  • Amarillo College Regent, Secretary of the Board of Regents
  • Secretary, Community College Association of Texas Trustees Board of Directors
  • Panhandle PBS Board of Directors
  • Amarillo College Foundation Board of Directors
  • Chamber of Commerce Governmental Advisory Council
  • Amarillo Police Training Advisory Board
  • WT Enterprise Center Board of Directors
  • Panhandle Workforce Development Board of Directors, Executive Committee
  • Amarillo Technology Initiative Board of Directors
  • Golden Spread Council, Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors
  • Maverick Boys' and Girls' Clubs in Amarillo Board of Directors
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