Degrees and Certifications:

Paul Polston Barnes

Professional Background


Tustin High School “Go Tillers!”

Orange Coast College "Go Pirates!"

University of California, Irvine – B.A. Philosophy “Go Anteaters!”

California State University, Fullerton – M.A. History “Go Titans!”

California State University, Long Beach – Teaching Certification “Go 49ers!”


Teacher – Orange County Department of Education – Alternative Education

Teacher – New Market Skills Center/New Market High School

New Market High School Coordinator

Summer School Dean – New Market Skills Center

National Board Teaching Certification


I was born in Colorado; slept in a treehouse on Mt. Olympus; went surfing at night when the water was glowing with bioluminescence; met my wife at the age of 13; went ice climbing in Iceland; love coffee and cookie dough; attended 17 different schools; love adventure; have 5 kids; have been chased up a tree by a rhinoceros; been a teacher for over 15 years; survived a marathon; and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Philosophy of Teaching

Every student and every story is unique and different – and so is the potential pathway to individual success.  Success in education comes about with a clear destination, determination, and opportunities to have fun.  I am committed to helping develop the tools and framework students’ need to explore the world and develop skills necessary to pursue any avenue of life they choose. I believe that there is tremendous value in connecting a student’s academic learning with hands-on, career and technical education and I am deeply committed to helping students learn how to build a life and how to connect the mastery of academic content with a career pathway they are passionate about.  My goal as an educator is to make sure that students not only earn their diploma, but are ready to be a contributing citizen with skills and knowledge for a successful career and life.  It is my hope that students will cultivate a passion to learn as well as think, write, read, and speak critically, reflectively and independently about their studies, themselves, and the world.  

Favorite Quotes

"I always get to where I am going by walking away from where I have been." Winnie the Pooh

"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, Are the ones who do."
Jack Kerouac -- On The Road