C.Joseph Barfield was a man who symbolized equal opportunity for all students. He excelled in and loved science and math. At an early age, he decided that he wanted to become a science teacher.
When Mr. Barfield was a boy, there were not many opportunities for young African-American children to finish high school or attend college. He knew that he would have to work very hard and earn good grades in order to realize his dream. His hard work paid off and he was able to attend college by receiving a scholarship to Shaw University in North Carolina. His post-graduate studies include a master's degree in science and other studies in administration. Mr. Barfield was offered a job witht he Pomona Unified School District and moved to Pomona in 1961.
The school district asked him to develop the physics and chemistry lab at the new Garey High School that was built in 1962. For the next three years, Mr. Barfield, as chairman of the science department, worked with the faculty and students to promote science education. He was also instrumental in the development of many projects such as the Mathematics Program at Simons Junior High School and the Reading Demonstration Program at Fremont Junior High School.
In 1966, Mr. Barfield became coordinator of the Neighborhood Youth Program. The program was established to help youth gain vocational skills prior to graduation from high school. He showed a unique ability to communicate the needs of the community to school administrators and the needs of the schools to the community. He served as Director of Special Projects for 10 years, bringing many educational state and federal programs to the school district to aid minortiy children. Mr. Barfield was a competent professional and administrator. He was a man of religious faith and a highly ethical person. Due to illness, he retired early in June 1982 and passed away in December 1983. Mr. Barfield was married and the father of four children. He was involved with many community groups. He was member of the Optimist Club, the Northeast Pomona Neighborhood Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Pomona Boys and Girls Club.
Throughout his lifetime, he was involved with the concerns of youth and the enhancement of educational opportunities for all young people. On March 20, 1984, a request was made by the Northeast Pomona Neighborhood Association to the Board of Education to rename North San Antonio Elementary School to honor Mr. Barfield. The Board of Education granted the Associations' request and the school was renamed C.J. Barfield Elementary School. The renaming ceremony was held on October 13, 1984.
Teach a student to think, not what to think and in doing so, he can seek truth for himself.