Even to one of the most powerful minds of our time, teaching meant not just a transference of data
not even the delivery of concepts –
more than the instillation of facts –
But the inspiration of the heart, mind and soul beyond the known bounds ….. in joyful pursuit of the unknown!!!!
Learning, when encouraged by a true teacher, is much more than Webster even touched upon. What makes a true teacher? Truly at the heart of a true teacher lies an amazing wonder of all you and I may take for granted, and the determination to overflow into others that very joy and awe.
Our Rotary teacher of the year, Sarah Barker of Gulf Breeze High School is truly the embodiment of such. She not only motivates, inspires and empowers her students to learn --and to love learning -- she also has a history of mentoring and leading ON MANY LEVELS Even in her volunteer life while still in High school and college, and into 11 years of her professional life as a natural coach and mentor!!!!
She motivates as a School leadership team member and a Mentor teacher, inspiring and motivating other teachers to thrive and inspire in their positions. It’s one thing to teach, but you really better be good if you are going to TEACH TEACHERS!
Sarah has great credibility. Sarah has lived her own life of loving learning, Graduating both GB high school and Pensacola Jurnior College with her AA in 2001. She went on to graduate from Florida State University and then went to work as a Reading teacher for 7th and 8th graders at Parkway Middle School, Kissimmee, FL where she was also the A/P coordinator and -Head cheerleading coach.
While working full time and working in multiple extra-curricular positions, she continued her love and learning, earning her Master’s of Science in Education, with a specialization in Educational Leadership from Walden University in 2011. Sarah has been employed at Gulf Breeze High School for 2 years, where she teaches 10th grade language arts and sponsors the Interact Club , AS well as the Literary Magazine.
Sarah is in her eleventh year as an educator. She has taught Reading and Language Arts at the middle and high school level and volunteering extensively all through.
Dan Rather once wrote: “The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'.”
Sarah goes beyond a teacher, and she shines as an example for LIVING LIFE – she is not afraid to appropriately chide students she sees that need a nudge along a better path, or that need to climb a ladder to a higher rung that better represents their abilities. She EXPECTS appropriate conduct
Sarah was a Gulf Breeze REc Center Cheerleading volunteer coach (while she was a high school cheerleader) and even then as a teenager, you could count on her to demand the best in heart, mind and Body –she sharpened their kicks and jumps all while she PUT A STOP to any stereotypical mean girl competition or behavior. No catty cheerleaders under Sarah’s watch!!!
This is one of the reasons she also served for two year as an Exceptional Student Education Specialist in Orlando, FL. And also taught ESOL (English as a Second Language) students and focused on students who could all too easily be lost in a school where they could NOT communicate or easily learn.
Sarah pours the waters of knowledge and a love of learning on their dry soils. She loves learning so much that her own energy and activities teach those around her, and she is very in tune to the many who could be lost without her. Even after only 11 years of teaching in 4 different schools, she has stood out!!!
2004-2005 she earned the First Year Teacher of the Year Award at Parkway Middle School, Kissimmee, FL
2008-2009 -- Sarah named Florida Excel Award Recipient. Awarded to ONLY 85 teachers STATEWIDE IN Florida whose students made a year’s worth of gain based on FCAT scores
Principal Jason Weeks says, “Sarah is passionate about students and their performance. We are extremely proud of her recognition as the Gulf Breeze Rotary Teacher of the Year.”
Sarah is certified to teach
Educational Leadership K-12
WE KNOW our Sarah as a fellow Rotarian and Sponsor of the Gulf Breeze Interact
Principal Weeks praises Sarah for her: Support of extracurricular activities and credits her with completely changing the dynamic of the Gulf Breeze Interact Club. “Student participation has vastly improved during her tenure as sponsor. Sarah has spearheaded many club sponsored activities which have fostered school spirit and civic duty. Sarah’s expectation of excellence transfers from the classroom to extra-curricular activities.”
Sarah Barker is an excellent teacher! In honor of the fact that Sarah is also a huge reader, and in her profession inspires the youth of our community to love and learn from literature, I have sprinkled literary quotes in this presentation, saving the best for last ! J
This one from John Steinbeck" “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists….
Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”