I’m Matt.

I’m running to represent kids as HISD’s District 4 School Board Trustee.


For Three Generations, Education was “the family business”

Granddad, Big-Mama, Aunt-Marie, Aunt Agnes, Aunt Rhoda, Aunt Rose, Uncle Sterling, Cousin Kevin, Lil’Marie (my mom) and many more family members were teachers. They were some of the most amazing, strong, and competent individuals I knew. These relatives understood education and, just as importantly, they understood how to navigate and advocate for their student’s success. Growing up, my family navigated and advocated for me. And because of their efforts, I now stand. I stand on their shoulders.

Below you’ll see my professional history. I take no credit for any of my accomplishments. They are all the result of parents who prayed hard and worked hard for my future. They are the result of teachers and school leaders who fought for me — and fought against my tendency to lower my own expectations. My campaign for school board is an extension of their sacrifice and hard work.

I promise them — and you — that once elected, I will lead HISD in a manner that will honor those who have poured into me over the years. I will work to unite HISD using student success as our common rally cry.

My prayer is that current and future HISD students will be able to stand on the shoulders of the men and women who strive every day to build HISD. I simply hope to be a part.

-Matt Barnes

Education Experience

Matt has more than 20 years of experience working in education from
Pre-K to University including:

  • CEO of Educational Makeover, an organization

    dedicated to providing free educational coaching

  • Truman University Board of Trustees

  • Rice University Associate - McMurtry College

  • College of Biblical Studies Board of Trustees

  • HISD Energy Institute High School Advisory Board Member

  • BakerRipley Charter School Board of Trustees

  • University of Houston National Leadership Alliance Board Member

  • Yellowstone Charter Board of Trustees

  • BakerRipley Head Start/Early Start System Board of Trustees

  • Nehemiah Center College Prep Coordinator

Excellence Without Exception

Excellence is the baseline for our campaign and together we will work to fix the broken dysfunctional HISD system by providing dedicated and real leadership at the Board and community level.

  • Job #1 – Every HISD child must be able to read by the 3rd grade, without exception.

  • Parents, teachers, trustees and the community will partner to ensure student success.

  • Each student must be college or workforce ready upon graduation.

More about Matt

His Passion

While working in philanthropy, Matt conducted local and national research on the social, academic, and health challenges facing boys and young men of color. During this time, he worked with national foundation leaders on what would later become President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.

In Matt’s research and practice, he found that the parental role was the single best predictor of successful educational and social outcomes for young people. He also found that the parent is often the least skilled at engaging in, and advocating for, their children. Since 2013, Matt has provided free educational coaching to parents helping them learn how to navigate the educational system towards academic success. Through this work, he is a regular radio show personality, public speaker, and workshop leader.

Matt’s motivation


Matthew is happily married to Ann Barnes, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Legacy Community Health, is a devoted father of three fantastic children, enjoys swimming, biking, and running, and is a deacon at the City of Refuge Church.