Barnes visits Washington D.C. as National Teacher of the Year finalist

Dr. Gay Barnes has returned to her first-graders at Horizon Elementary School after tours and meetings in Washington D.C. as one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Gay Barnes, center row at left, poses with President Barack Obama and other delegates at the National Teacher of the Year ceremony

“I am so humbled to have been named the Teacher of the Year for Alabama and as a national finalist after learning about these teachers and their work,” Barnes said. Californian Rebecca Mieliwocki won the national title.

At the White House awards ceremony, President Barack Obama introduced the national finalists and then announced the winner. The capital hosts a week of recognition for both the national nominees and state winners. Teachers attended from 49 states, America Samoa, Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Teachers met individually with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We participated in educational workshops sponsored by Smithsonian Institute. Dr. Jill Biden, herself an educator, hosted our group at the vice president’s residence and (asked) how our schools support military families,” Barnes said.

The educators attended round-table discussions at the Department of Education and were guests at a black-tie event at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Target hosted an opening reception at The Newseum and capital tours and presented cameras to state winners. Each teacher received a Kindle Fire from University of Phoenix. Other sponsors were Chief Council of State School Officers, ING and People to People.

Barnes most memorable scenario was meeting educators across Alabama and the nation. “These teachers have a true passion … for helping their students be successful in all ways,” she said. “The commitment and intelligence my fellow educators bring to their work is inspiring.”

Barnes is a National Board Certified Teacher and holds a doctorate degree in reading/literacy education. “For teachers whose hearts are in the classroom, it’s the biggest, best and most important place,” Barnes said.

Working in administration doesn’t interest her but providing leadership responsibilities for classroom teachers does. She hopes this “national and state conversation … will come to fruition.”

Barnes grew up in St. Clair County and has lived in the Huntsville area since 1985.

Her husband Jim Barnes retired from teaching but currently works part time at Highlands Elementary School. Their children are Luke, soon-to-be graduate of Auburn University; daughter Mason, an Auburn junior; Zachary, Bob Jones High School senior; Micaela, a Bob Jones sophomore; and Jackson, an eighth-grader at Discovery Middle School.

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – April 17, 2024

Events

Check out the 2024-25 edition of “Explore Huntsville-Madison”

Bob Jones High School

Business, Army groups offer scholarships

Bob Jones High School

Optimists award teacher grants, essay winners

Liberty Middle School

Kristen Brown named finalist for Alabama Teacher of the Year

Madison

Journey Math Team makes mark in 2 tourneys

Bob Jones High School

Artwork by Charity Stratton on exhibit at library

Harvest

Madison City Community Orchestra to present ‘Eroica’ on April 20-21

Events

Orion Amphitheater kicks off its third concert season tonight

James Clemens High School

James Clemens HOSA overshadows conference competitors

Harvest

It’s Spring! Plant sale returns to Huntsville Botanical Garden

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones AFJROTC aces first try at obstacle course

Discovery Middle School

Clifton, Francois earn grants to enhance study of German

Bob Jones High School

Fantasy Playhouse summer camps to open in Madison

Discovery Middle School

Hogan Family YMCA to celebrate Healthy Kids Day

Bob Jones High School

Students in grades 3-5 to compete in Bob Jones Science Challenge

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

James Clemens Football Hosting Annual Mattress Sale

James Clemens High School

James Clemens baseball hot at the right time

Discovery Middle School

Register for Summer Spotlight Theatre Camp at James Clemens

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones hails as section’s top team at Scholastic Chess Championship

James Clemens High School

James Clemens leads at Student Council Association conference

News

Messiah Lutheran’s Rummage Sale turns ‘discards into disaster relief’

Harvest

Madison Academy to present ‘High School Musical – One Act Edition’

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Remembering Tom Monroe- “Johnny Appleseed Of Disc Golf”

x