Board Term: Jan. 1, 2017 - Jan. 1, 2021
Barbara Cargill, a science educator from The Woodlands, represents parts of the Greater Houston and Southeast Texas area on the State Board of Education. As an appointee of Gov. Rick Perry, she served as chair of the state board from July 1, 2011 through June 18, 2015, the maximum time allowable under state law.
A Republican, Cargill was first elected to a four-year term of office on the board in November 2004 and was re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016. During her board tenure,she has served as chair and vice chair of the board's Committee on Instruction. Cargill has also been a member of the Committee on Planning and the Committee on School Initiatives. In February 2017, she was elected chair of the Committee on Initiatives, which oversees agenda items such as those related to charter schools, State Board of Educator Certification rules, and the appointment of trustees to school boards located on military bases.
Cargill has been an active science educator in the Dallas and Houston areas for more than 30 years. Cargill is the founder and director of Wonders of the Woodlands Science Camp, which has been in operation since 1995. WOW! Science Camp provides creative, hands-on learning to more than 1,200 children each summer. Cargill authors or co-authors all the camp's curricular material. The camp is an outreach program of The Woodlands United Methodist Church.
Before founding WOW!, she taught biology in the Garland and Hurst-Euless-Bedford school districts between 1982 and 1991. During her years with the school districts, Cargill actively supported extra-curricular activities through work that included serving as the drill team sponsor, cheerleader sponsor, senior class sponsor, instructor for SAT preparation courses, and CARE team counselor for at-risk students. More recently, Cargill served on the Commission for a College Ready Texas.
In recognition of her outstanding teaching, Cargill received the Thanks to Teachers National Excellence Award, the National Audubon Society Award, and the A.J. Sales Educational Award. She was a nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and was a nominee for the Science Teachers Association of Texas' award for outstanding teacher.
Because of her work as a board member and as a science educator, Cargill in 2013 participated in the Iditarod Winter Education Conference, which is held in conjunction with the iconic Alaskan dog race. She also participated in the Iditarod Ceremonial Start, riding for 14 miles with an official Iditarod musher.
Currently, Cargill works closely with teachers through
professional development training and consulting work. She is a registered trainer and has presented teacher workshops in places such as the Early Childhood
Methodist Conference, South East Texas Early
Care and Education Conference, AVANCE Early Head Start Conference and Texas
Association for the Education of Young Children (TAEYC) Conference.
In addition to her work with science education, Cargill is an active volunteer. She is a PTA lifetime member honoree, having served on a PTA board every year that her three sons were in school. She is a sustainer with the Junior League of The Woodlands and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 2015, Cargill received the Education Award from Interfaith of The Woodlands.
She holds a Master's of Science degree in Science Education from Texas Women’s University and an undergraduate degree in education from Baylor University.
As a member of the State Board of Education, Cargill represents about 1.7 million Texans who reside in Brazos, Grimes, parts of Harris, Houston, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Walker counties.