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Up Close and Personal with Mr. Barcia

Up Close and Personal with Mr. Barcia

New Leadership at Mount Olive Middle School: Daniel Barcia Takes on Role of 6th Grade Vice Principal

March 19th, 2024

Excitement fills the halls of Mount Olive Middle School as the school welcomes a new addition to its administrative team. Mr. Daniel Barcia has stepped into the role of 6th Grade Vice Principal, bringing with him a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to guide students through their middle school journey.  Mr. Barcia's career path has been nothing short of impressive, boasting over a decade of experience in education. Prior to his appointment at Mount Olive Middle School, he served as an English teacher, igniting young minds with the power of literature and language. Most recently, he held the position of Dean of Restorative Practices at East Side High School in Newark, NJ, where he dedicated himself to creating a positive and inclusive school culture.  His first day on the job was March 18th, and already his presence is being felt throughout the school. Students and staff alike are eager to see the positive impact he will undoubtedly make in his new role.

During his inaugural week, the newly appointed 6th Grade Vice Principal, found himself facing the toughest panel of judges yet: four sharp-witted 6th-grade students armed with questions for Mr. Barcia:

What was your favorite school subject when you were a kid?

Lunch.  I was not a big fan of school when I was little.  I had a really bad relationship with education and lunch was the one place I got to be myself and where people understood me.  But if it actually had to be a class, it would be phys ed because I love sports.  

If you could swap roles with any movie or TV administrator for a day, who would it be?

So you probably won't know who this is, but it's Mr. Feeny.  Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World eventually becomes principal and I would choose him because he was just so smart and always knew what to say.  He was such a role model for the kids.  To watch his journey from a great teacher to a great principal, and great neighbor was beautiful and I'd like to be that one day. 

What's the most outrageous excuse a student has given you for not turning in their homework? 

I had a kid tell me one time that she didn't have her homework because she had lost her grandma.  It wasn't a lie, but there was a caveat.  What she failed to mention was that her grandma passed 6 years prior.  So it wasn't a lie, but when I called mom to say I'm so sorry for your loss, she had no idea what I was talking about!

What's your go-to karaoke song, and would you ever perform it at a school talent show? 

Absolutely, positively yes for the second part-- I love to make a fool out of myself, especially in front of kids.  It's funny beacuse I go to karaoke every Thursday!  My go to karaoke song--it depends on the mood.  Sometimes I like, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun- it's probably my go to. I just like to have fun! 

What’s your go-to order at McDonalds?

That's a good one.  I love fries. Fries are the way to my heart.  But probably a Big Mac and fries. Shamrock shakes are amazing, I wish they had them all year round.

If you could have any historical figure as a guest speaker at the school, who would it be? 

Ooh, there's so many.  There is a man named Ernesto Che Guevara.  He was a South American revolutionary.  I actually have a tattoo of him on my leg.  He's one of my heroes, I just thought he was a very interesting and smart man who had vision way beyond his time- even beyond our time.  Very intelligent and very selfless.

If you could teleport our school to anywhere in the world for one week, where would you take us? 

I like to travel so that's a hard question, but definitely someplace tropical where it's beautiful all day, every day.  Puerto Rico is my favorite place in the entire world.  I go every year for my birthday for the Saint Sebastian Festival.  Puerto Rico would be a beautiful place to go, except it rains every day- its only for a little bit, but it does rain every day.  Or Aruba, I've never been but I heard it's amazing.

We’ve been asking for an ice cream truck to come here.. can you help us out? 

That's a bit above my pay grade, but what I will tell you is that I'm 100% going to advocate for you for selfish reasons because I want an ice cream truck here too. I do think there is a space for kids to have nice things, and if that's something you guys really really want, I can tell you that I will guarantee that I will fight for it.  

In a surprising twist during the interview, discussions took a detour down the magical lane of Harry Potter and the fascinating world of sneakers. Mr. Barcia, found himself entangled in delightful banter about Hogwarts and wand-waving antics, before seamlessly transitioning into a lively discourse on sneaker culture. Amidst giggles and nods of approval, the 6th graders unanimously praised Mr. Barcia's impeccable sneaker game, dubbing him a style icon of the school halls. Breaking momentarily from the interview, Mr. Barcia graciously invited the enthralled youngsters for a tour of his new office, promising again to work on that ice cream truck!


In the hot seat: Josh Colon, Will Dolan, Jessica Clark, and Natalie Carter interrogate newly appointed Vice Principal, Mr. Barcia.


Jessica Clark and Natalie Carter listen attentively as they get to know Mr. Barcia.


Josh Colon and Will Dolan find common ground with Mr. Barcia as they discuss all things Harry Potter. 


Josh Colon, Will Dolan, Natalie Carter, and Jessica Clark take time to pose for a photo after the interview.