Phone: 850-414-5500


Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Science: Business Education, FAMU Masters of Applied Social Science: Public Administration, FAMU Education Specialist: Higher Education, FSU Doctor of Philosophy: Education Leadership & Human Services, FSU

Dr. Deborah Barnes

Dr. Deborah G. Barnes, a long-time author, counselor, leader, and teacher, was raised in Wakulla County. She is a life coach who guides others to their human destiny, financial wealth, and spiritual greatness. Currently, Dr. Barnes works as an Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Attendance at James S. Rickards High School. She has over 32 years of educational experience in K-12 public schools, colleges, and universities. By faith, she believes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). For four years during college, Dr. Barnes worked three jobs, each for 20-hours a week. She purchased her first home at age 22 and worked her way through school by taking 15-18 credit hours a semester. As a result of her resilience, Dr. Barnes earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (2006); MS in Public Administration (1989); BS in Business Education in (1987), from Florida A&M University, and earned an Educational Specialist Degree in Higher Education (1994), from Florida State University. 

Dr. Barnes has been influential in reforming K-12 education nationwide. Additionally, she fosters black and underprivileged families by donating 10-percent of her income to help less fortunate students and the elderly with basic needs and tuition costs. As a result of her counseling, five former students were drafted into the National Football League. She is a noted speaker who has presented at the local, state, and national levels. Dr. Barnes’ book, Great Counselors Are Different: A Spiritual Transformation of the Heart is available now on her website, Amazon, Kindle, and bookstores. 

She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. Dr. Barnes has been married for 28 years to her soulmate, Dana Barnes, Sr. They have three college-graduates, Dr. Dana, Jr., Debbora, and Demani Barnes. Dr. Barnes is the daughter of Frankie Dawson and the late Lee Dawson.