Compiled by MCJ Staff
Barbara Horton, who served as deputy acting-superintendent and then acting superintendent for Milwaukee Public Schools between 1995 and 1997, died Thursday, May 16, of breast cancer. She was 64.
Horton came close to becoming superintendent in 1997. However, the MPS School Board of Directors chose Alan Brown.
As deputy and acting superintendent, Horton was reportedly the highest- ranking woman in the district and the second Black woman to serve in the deputy superintendent’s post. The first was Debra McGriff.
Horton left MPS for a short time after being passed over for superintendent. In 2002, she returned to the district after she was elected to the school board in a special election. She was reelected to a full four-year term in 2007.
Though Horton was described as a thoughtful board member who avoided board infighting, she was not afraid to get vocal when the occasion—or issue—called for it, especially as it related to the district and its students, who she saw as “our babies.”
Horton also worked in private school education. Since 1999, she was the executive director of the Darrell Lynn Hines College Preparatory Academy of Excellence, a city charter school, and Destiny High School, a voucher school. Both schools serve approximately 300 students.
At the time of her death, Horton was completing her doctoral dissertation in educational administration from Capella University.
Horton was born in Ypsilanti, Mich., moving to Milwaukee as a teenager. She was a graduate of the former Lincoln High School. She attended Carroll College (now Carroll University) in Waukesha, earning an undergraduate degree in sociology. She also earned a management degree from Cardinal Stritch.
Horton is survived by her husband, Sandy Horton, daughter Cassandra Horton, 31 and son Jonathan, 24. No funeral arrangements had been announced at the time of this writing.