A quick check in with Mr. Barranca


Dakota Stein, Staff writer

    Last year, we said goodbye to English teacher Matt Barranca as he moved onto the next big chapter of his life. From LHS teacher to principal at Masonic Heights Elementary School, his journey is only beginning. 

    After getting his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership in 2010, Barranca’s mind had been set on getting into administration 

   “It’s always been a career goal of mine to get into administration.  Over the past couple of years at Lakeview, I tried to get more leadership experiences and even took a few days off of work to job shadow principals in other school districts,” stated Barranca.

   Last year while job searching, Barranca was contacted by Masonic Heights Elementary. After submitting a three minute video and going through another 3 rounds of interviews, he accepted their job offer.

   With all new jobs, come new struggles. Some of those struggles can seem so mundane.

   “I have to ask for help a lot.  I always feel like I am bugging people when I ask questions like, ‘Where do I put this envelope to mail it?’ “ explained Barranca. 

   On the other side of things, his favorite part of the new job is, of course, the children. Going from high school students to elementary students is a big difference, but the kids welcomed Barranca to Masonic Heights right away and made his transition pleasant. 

   Barranca joked, “They’ve welcomed me with open arms.  Literally, open arms, as I’ve come to realize that a lot of elementary-aged kids like to hug their principal.” 

   Being a part of Lakeview for nine years wasn’t easy to walk away from. Within those years, Barranca experienced many major life changes that made his emotional tie to the school very strong. 

   “I met my wife back in 2012. I got married in 2015, and had some of my Lakeview colleagues there to celebrate with us. in 2016, my wife and I celebrated the birth of our daughter, Olivia.  I created some very strong bonds of friendship while I was at Lakeview.” 

    Although the school has been a big part of his life, he does not regret the decision he made. 

   Barranca stated, “Ultimately, I am happy with my decision and am thoroughly enjoying this new phase of my professional life.”

   Olivia, his daughter, is also enjoying her dad’s new school, mainly the playground. As usual, Barranca always is very open to sharing about his wife and daughter. 

   He said, “My family is doing great. My daughter will be turning 3 next month, and we are constantly surprised and impressed by the little human she is becoming. She is talking a lot lately; she even rivals me in terms of the amount that she talks. Every day, I wake up and am thankful that she looks more like her mom than she looks like me.” 

   He continued, “My wife is doing well also, and she currently has the most important job in our household: being a stay-at-home mom and raising Olivia. She is the most kind, patient, loving person I know, so it gives me a lot of hope that those traits will be passed down to my daughter, and she will embody a lot of these great characteristics of my wife.”

   While it was sad to see him go, the staff and students at Lakeview wish nothing but the best for Mr. Barranca, the new principal of Masonic Heights Elementary. 

   Lastly, Barranca would just like to let everyone know that he still loves horses.