New principal, familiar face at Winters High School this fall

John Barsotti takes on the helm at Winters High School this fall.
Photo by Crystal Apilado

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Although John Barsotti is a newcomer to this year’s administration at Winters High School, he is not a stranger to the majority of staff and students there. Serving as the new principal at WHS Barsotti is already familiar with most of the students as their previous principal at Winters Middle School. Some of the WHS staff previously worked with Barsotti when he served as the WHS vice principal for five years starting in 2005.

He said this familiarity puts him in a unique position to jump start his new role at the high school. He’s walking into a setting where there’s very few people he doesn’t already know or who don’t know him.

“There’s a lot less anxiety on both ends since we’re familiar with each other,” said Barsotti.

Barsotti has worked with youth since his days as a student at Eureka High School, where he worked with children in day care centers and after school programs. He went on to study at UC Davis with the intent to teach math and science in a high school setting. He got his start as a teacher in the Vacaville Unified School District. first at Willis Jepson Middle School, and then moved on to teach and coach baseball at Will C Wood High. He also worked in the Fairfield school district for three years after his first role at WHS before returning to Winters as the middles school’s principal in 2013.

He says that when it comes to working with youth, it is important to start with the frame of mind that they are all learning. Barsotti gives credit to his former teachers who inspired him, supported him and continue to influence him in his role as an educator.

“Everyone is capable of growth. Everyone is capable of learning and change,” said Barsotti.

He hopes students will be open minded to the changes in administration and help continue in the efforts to be a part of it.

“Based off of the change you can view in two ways. It’s unknown and scary or there’s opportunity to be a part of the change and really embrace and shape it,” said Barsotti. “I hope that students see it in that light. That if they’ve been here it’s a fresh start. If they’re just coming here they have ample opportunity to contribute to what we do here and what we are about.”

He also hopes families remember his open door policy and come in if they have a concern or if they want to talk about something.

“I think in a small community that face-to-face contact and that two-way communication is even more important. I hope people come in and take advantage of that,” Barsotti said. “I’m very excited to be back. I think there’s a lot of great things going on that we can continue on with, and make some new great things.”

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  1. Wahoo , Barsotti is the best…. now we have a leader equal to the teachers that teach there.
    It has been sooo sad to see our great teachers exit our high school because of a small minded, repressive school board that has impeded and discouraged our talented group of teachers and intimidated our principals.
    I pray that the school board could let the professionals (teachers) do their job and support their hard work.
    Godspeed, and if anyone can make our school board realize that (1) our kids need a education to fit modern times and that (2) kids need a little help to grow into the responsibilities of adulthood….you are the one!
    Thank you Mr Barsotti for all your hard work, your commitment to our towns kids, and the guts to tackle a messy job!

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