Who's Who of Professional Women


Barbara McNairy

A dedicated educator of nearly five decades, Barbara B. McNairy has served the Palmdale School District in Palmdale, California, since 1987. She bears a particular specialty in language arts and has been responsible for teaching such subjects as mathematics, social studies and science to third-grade students. Additionally, she has volunteered for different extracurricular activities, including with the cheerleading and dance teams, and as an organizer for various holiday assemblies. Earlier in her career, Ms. McNairy taught at the Los Angeles Unified School District for one year and with the Chicago Public Schools for approximately 13 years.

Having accrued numerous accomplishments as an educator, Ms. McNairy is particularly proud to have been recognized as the Teacher of the Year at Joshua Hills Elementary School in the Palmdale School District in 1995, 2001 and 2002. In addition, she was honored as an Outstanding Certificate Employee of Palmdale School District in 1996. Likewise, she was bestowed with a Living Legacy Award from the Jim Ledford Family Foundation in 2007, which honored her dedication to education and working with local youth, and named the African American Woman of the Year for Antelope Valley. Ms. McNairy largely credits her success to her passion for exerting a positive impact on the lives of children. She loves teaching and does not think of it as a job but as a chance to help a child flourish.

Outside of her primary educational endeavors, Ms. McNairy has distinguished herself as a contemporary gospel singer, songwriter and producer. Notably, she has released six gospel music CDs and two Christmas CDs. Throughout her career as a music artist, she has sung alongside such figures as Keith Pringle, Rickey Grundy, Albertina Walker, Walt Whitman and Rev. Calvin Bridges, and opened concerts for Vicki Winans and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. For her accomplishments as a musician, Ms. McNairy was nominated in the early 2000s for a Bravo Music Award. With a long and storied career in gospel music, she prays she will be able to continue sharing and celebrating her gifts in the Lord and with her listeners.

To prepare for her fruitful career, Ms. McNairy pursued a formal education at Harris–Stowe State University, a historically Black public university in St. Louis, Missouri, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1974. Subsequently, she achieved a master’s degree from Governor State University in Illinois in 1977. To remain abreast of her field, she maintains professional affiliation with the National Teacher’s Association and the Teacher’s Union.

A distinguished Marquis listee, Ms. McNairy has two children, Camille and Matthew, and three grandchildren. She presently resides in Palmdale, California. Looking toward the future, she hopes to continue to experience growth and success in her teaching and music careers. Her advice to budding professionals is, “Go with your passion. Keep your dream alive. Don’t give up.”


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