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Teacher awaits new challenges


LANGUAGE ARTS teacher Debbie Barber is excited about the prospect of being on the faculty of the new Brooklyn Park Middle School. So excited that she arose at 5 a.m. recently to write a poem about it.

You would expect a new teacher to emote over starting in a new school. But Barber's not a new teacher; she's in her 31st year of teaching in the county school system. The new place just inspires her.

From "Brooklyn Park Middle School, A New Beginning," the poem that describes Barber's expectations for the coming school year, there's this wish:

"When our year is finished and we look back

We'll know that Brooklyn Park Middle was right on track..."

Barber was one of 15 staff members who spent the week of July 10 working with Principal Brenda Hurbanis to draft the school's mission and strategic plan. That week's work inspired her to write the poem.

"We talked about all the different things we planned to do and wanted to accomplish. I got up and just started writing. The whole thing was just an inspiration," she said.

Barber began her career at Mayo Elementary and taught at Annapolis Middle School for 28 years. She said that it was hard to leave Annapolis, but wanted her last years before retirement to be like her first. "When you are at a new school, you get to set the ground rules and make sure that everything is working, and working right. It's very exciting. You can feel the excitement," she said.

At the end of the coming school year, Barber is confident that the faculty and students will exceed all expectations. And after 31 years, she should know better than anyone what students can achieve.

"There are so many things that we want to accomplish," she said. "I want them to be good readers and to have the creativity to expand the knowledge that they are given. The main thing is to treat them with respect. If you treat them with respect, they will learn to respect you. Even though it's been 31 years, I'm not ready to stop teaching yet. I still have a lot of energy and zest. Every day is very exciting and very different."

'Kids Helping Kids'

The Brooklyn Heights United Methodist Church will hold its vacation Bible school from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow through Friday.

The theme will be "Holy Word Studios: Kids Helping Kids." Each student will participate in making baskets of personal items for the children in the church's overseas missions.

Children ages 3 to 11 are welcome. There is no fee, and registration will be held at the first class.

Brooklyn Heights United Methodist Church is at 110 Townsend Ave.

Information: 410-789-3688.

Cook books for sale

St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church is offering a second edition of its cookbook for sale.

The $12 book contains hundreds of original recipes from parishioners.

Information or to place an order: 410-345-5740.

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