Barbara Kanninen joined the Arlington School Board on January 1, 2015. She is a Ph.D. environmental economist, children's book author, and school and community leader who has served on the School Board's Early Childhood Advisory Committee, Math Advisory Committee, and Advisory Council on Instruction, as well as the County Board's Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and the Board of the Youth Ultimate League of Arlington.
Barbara knows that every child is more than a test score. She is committed to expanding opportunities for all students to develop their critical thinking, creative, technical, and job skills. She will tackle overcrowding with constructive, positive community engagement and make sure we always focus on what matters most: supporting teachers and students in the classroom every day.
Barbara is a former assistant professor at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, senior economist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Gilbert F. White Fellow at Resources for the Future. She is the editor of Valuing Environmental Amenities Using Stated Choice Studies: A Common Sense Approach to Theory and Practice and author of a number of articles published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Land Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. In 2009, Barbara received the prestigious Publication of Enduring Quality Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Barbara has a Bachelor's degree from Ohio University, a Master's from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Barbara is the author of the children's picture book, A Story with Pictures, which was judged a “Picture Book We Admire” by the Children's Literature Network. She has published stories and articles in children's magazines, such as Highlights for Children and Ladybug, and written early readers and textbook material for curriculum companies, such as Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Core Knowledge Foundation, and Kaeden Books. Barbara has visited schools and libraries all over the D.C. area and Virginia, sharing a love of reading and writing with children, parents, and teachers.
Barbara and her husband Kevin have lived in Arlington for over 20 years and have two boys who have been lifelong Arlington Public Schools students.