Zeek Ojeh currently serves as the Acting Superintendent of the Balsz Elementary School District, a diverse student population located in East Phoenix. The Governing Board appointed him on June 23, 2021 to transition from the Chief Financial Officer during the transition of Dr. Arleen Kennedy’s departure.
Prior to joining Balsz in 2020 as the Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Ojeh served as the Assistant Superintendent for the Cartwright School District in West Phoenix. There, he oversaw the financial and auxiliary operations of the District for nine (9) years.
A proponent of civic and community engagement, Mr. Ojeh was a Governor’s Appointee to the Arizona Housing Finance Authority and the Manufactured Housing Board, both Statewide Boards and Commissions. He currently sits on the Board of Arizona Federal Credit Union, the State’s third largest Credit Union.
Mr. Ojeh has a graduate degree in Finance and Professional Certificates in Accounting and Auditing. He has a daughter that attends the University of Arizona and enjoys golfing, hiking, and traveling on his free time.
Dr. George Barnes
Superintendent, effective February 1st, 2022
The Balsz Governing Board has selected Dr. George Barnes as its next superintendent. Dr. Barnes will begin his new role on February 1, leading a district of approximately 2,400 pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students and a faculty and staff of 260.
“We are very pleased to select Dr. Barnes as our superintendent and we look forward to working with him as he takes the helm of Balsz Elementary School District,” said Balsz Governing Board President Gail Knight. “We had three very strong finalists competing for the job, and in the end, Dr. Barnes’ breadth of experience and vision for the district really set him apart.”
Dr. Barnes has served in leadership roles in education for 15 of his 20 years in the profession. He has worked in Arizona as an administrator in schools at all levels and as a professor at the Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Recently, as an assistant superintendent at a school district in a St. Louis suburb adjacent to Ferguson, MO., Dr. Barnes helped address academic and social opportunity gaps by leading with a philosophy that schools are the epicenter of change, and he worked hand-in-hand with community partners to address the needs.
Dr. Barnes earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Butler University, a Masters of Education in School Administration from Indiana University and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.
A leader in education for the 15 of his 20 years in the profession, Dr. Barnes has worked in Arizona as an administrator in schools at all levels and as a professor for Arizona State University in his work with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Dr. Barnes has continued with his passion for building cultures of success for all students with his research focusing on school practices that help students identify with academic and social achievement. Recently, as an Assistant Superintendent in St. Louis, Dr. Barnes worked within the community adjacent to Fergusson to help address academic and social opportunity gaps by leading with a mentality of schools being the epicenter of change and working hand in hand with community partners to continue the work that is needed. As an Arizona resident, Dr. Barnes has worked with various community stakeholders to help connect the efforts of educators with additional support and to better engage students and families with a vision of generational growth. Dr. Barnes is energetic, enthusiastic, and competitive and he knows his purpose is directly connected to the success and development of students through schools and preparing generations as future leaders and change agents of their community.
Dr. George Barnes states, “Balsz is a district and community that has a rich pool of culture, traditions, and history. A footprint in Phoenix that is small enough to build relationships, attend events, and rest in a family, but a power that can make the state and beyond take notice. I envision being the largest fan, cheerleader, and coach as we celebrate our success from the mountain tops and continue to build in our community for decades to come.”