Position: English and Speech Teacher
School: California R-1 High School
School District: Moniteau County R-I School District
City, State: California, MO
Dana Barr was nominated by Tylere Hustead, a former student.
Mrs. Barr is an influential educator who helps all students at California R-1 High School. As an English and Dual Credit Speech teacher, she is a role model who equips students with the tools needed to be career and college ready. Students leave her classroom with the knowledge needed to take on the world.
"I was originally a student who 'liked' to read, liked to speak in front of others, enjoyed assignments with creativity, and liked to work hard," Hustead said. "Mrs. Barr took all of those strengths and helped me develop them. Soon, I started to 'love' to read, loved to speak and present, pursued assignments with creativity in my own time, and searched out challenges. I grew up in her class. It was her class that prepared me for college, and her instructional design that I credit to my English educational success."
Mrs. Barr cares about her students and challenges them on a daily basis. She uses various teaching styles and techniques so everyone can feel successful. She also uses differentiation in her classroom to help students understand the standards needed before moving on from her class.
"To this day, I can still write one of the best research outlines, and I credit that to her," Hustead said. "Her class prepared us for college, and even though not all of us attended college, I still truly believe that we all learned from her as well. We learned life lessons about how to find information, to research, have conversations, and most importantly, find challenges and work hard to accomplish them."
After her class, Hustead went on to college and pursued a Business Communication degree that primarily focused on speech, and a minor in English. Currently, Hustead is going back to school to get their masters in order to become a high school English teacher and teach Dual Credit Speech. They've used Mrs. Barr's classroom and teaching techniques for multiple references throughout their college papers. Mrs. Barr is one of the reasons why Hustead is going back to school to pursue a teaching degree.
"Mrs. Barr’s class is the best class I've taken to prepare me for my future," Hustead said. "She was teaching high school students at a higher level because she knew we were capable. She was not only an amazing teacher, but she was a positive influence at the school. Mrs. Barr encouraged us in other extra-curricular activities and was often at track meets, basketball, football, and softball games. She also encouraged us in theater or choir. She let us know that students can work hard in the classroom, but also develop into a whole person with various other skills."
Year after year, Mrs. Barr continues to prepare students for life after high school. Students who have taken her class have become doctors, farmers, physical therapists, insurance salespeople, welders, teachers, musicians, and soldiers. She has made an impact on all of her students in some way or another. Her standards are high, both for her classroom and for students as individuals.
"I have been blessed with many positive influences in my life, but Mrs. Barr is one of the greats," Hustead said. "She is a LifeChanger for those who have been in her classroom, those she has now, and the future students she will someday teach. I think Mrs. Barr’s students should always treat her with admiration because she is changing lives, one speech/book/essay at a time. Although I think all teachers are champions in one way or another, I believe Mrs. Barr is the Michael Jordan of teachers."