Mrs. Lena Barnes

Lena Barnes is a Special Education teacher in the Camden School District, New Jersey. In her role as an educator, Ms. Barnes currently works with children with autism in a self-contained classroom and serves as the Special Education Department Chair in her school. Committed to
creating an inclusive community for her students, she also organizes community workshops during her off hours providing behavioral, life skills, and other essential training for families with special needs children in her school. Ms. Barnes works as a tutor with Excel and Beyond in Lawrenceville NJ, preparing students for tests like SSAT and SAT. She is also a volunteer at NAMI New Jersey helping individuals with mental crises. Before coming to Camden, Ms. Barnes worked as an ELA teacher at the Kendall Park Learning Center from 2003 to 2005. She also worked as a substitute teacher in the South Brunswick school district.

Ms. Barnes graduated from Drexel University with a Master of Science degree in Special Education with a concentration in Autism. She obtained her Bachelor of Art’s degree from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. She currently holds different teaching certificates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Ms. Barnes has published a book: Yooku My Brother, the Enigma Autism (2012). This book was used by the Drexel School of Education advertising campaign that ran in 2013 and appeared in trains along the Northeast Corridor from New York City to Washington, D.C. Ads were placed on Amtrak (including Acela), SEPTA, and NJ Transit trains and in train stations and stops. In 2014 the School of Education was awarded a silver CUPPIE for their Train Card Campaign.

Ms. Barnes is now pursuing a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on Special Education Leadership at Grand Canyon University. She hopes to conduct all her research using the qualitative research method. The desire to pursue this degree stems from her wish to research and produce solutions for some of the problems that affect special needs students and help create an informed and empowered community for individuals and families with special needs.