Mark Anthony Barela serves as the Director of District Guidance Services for Carlsbad Municipal Schools, having previously served as Director of Data and Assessment, and Principal at Carlsbad Sixth Grade Academy (formally Alta Vista Middle School).  Barela has been in education for 23 years, having taught music education for 12 years and serving as a school administrator for the past eleven years.  Barela holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education and Masters Degree in Education Administration from Eastern New Mexico University, and will be a candidate to receive a PhD in Educational Leadership from New Mexico State University.

In 2014, Barela was recognized as the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leader's Administrator of the Year, having been selected by the New Mexico Association of Elementary School Principals organization.

In 2012-2013, Barela served as the President of the New Mexico Association of Elementary School Principals (NMAESP) and sat on the board of the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders (NMCEL).

In 2011-2012, The University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) recognizing Barela for his contributions to educational leadership and published two of his articles that were presented at the UCEA National Convention. 

In 2010, Barela was awarded Educator of the Year by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in Carlsbad, NM, and was recognized at the LULAC State Convention in Albuquerque, NM.

Barela has served as the State Representative for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and completed the NMCEL Aspiring Superintendent’s Academy in 2014.  Barela continues to participate in several community organizations in Carlsbad and the surrounding area.  

Having presented at several conferences for the New Mexico Public Education Department and the New Mexico Association of Elementary School Principals, Barela plays an active role, in our state, as an outstanding and dedicated educational leader.

Barela is a family man who has a passion for music.  Having co-founded “Mariachi Unido” a community mariachi band in Carlsbad in 2005, Barela enjoys playing his trumpet and singing to his grandchildren.