Sixth grade English teacher Ms. Sara Barton recently decided to move to Denver, Colorado with her family.
At Haverford, after many years teaching in both the lower and middle schools since 2009, Ms. Barton has left a lasting imprint on the institution.
“Not only am I sad to know that I will not see her around campus anymore, but also that the future sixth graders will not be able to experience her teaching,” Fourth Former Jack Suter said. “Before sixth grade English my knowledge of grammar and writing was much less established. Not only did I learn grammar and writing, but I also learned so many lessons from the different books we read in English class. If it weren’t for Ms. Barton… I wouldn’t have taken an interest in writing.”
Ms. Barton gave her students a chance for independent reading as well as creative writing. This allowed students to be creative instead of writing based off of one prompt or from one rubric. Students learned how to develop ideas and communicate them effectively. Independent reading also gave students the opportunity to pursue something in which they truly showed interest.
“I had the experience of having Ms. Barton twice during my time at Haverford,” Fourth Former Connor Pinsk said. “I had her in fourth grade and in sixth grade. Sixth grade was her first year as an English teacher in middle school, and it was very cool to have the same teacher twice, especially when it was one that I liked so much.”
“Ms. Barton’s unique background provided insight into the transition from lower to middle school. She has also been a warm and supportive colleague, eager to offer her wisdom to fellow teachers and strengthen the middle years of reading and writing instruction.”Mr. Thomas Stambaugh
In addition to Ms. Barton’s classroom work, she devoted much time and energy over a number of years running the parent SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) group, which seeks to strengthen the community in terms of its understanding of race, class, and gender.
According to English Department Chair Mr. Thomas Stambaugh, “Ms. Barton’s unique background provided insight into the transition from lower to middle school. She has also been a warm and supportive colleague, eager to offer her wisdom to fellow teachers and strengthen the middle years of reading and writing instruction.”
As she prepares to move, Ms. Barton is excited for various aspects of the city she will call home.
“I am looking forward to the public transportation in Denver,” Ms. Barton said, “along with trying to find the best dog parks in Denver.”
But her impact on the students whom she has taught will remain at Haverford.
“If I haven’t yet given you an idea of the thoughtful, wise, and kind person Ms. Barton is,” Suter said, “one of my favorite sayings of hers is, ‘Focus on the learning and the grades will come.’ Ms. Barton was a teacher who used grades as opportunities for feedback, learning, and helped to show what one needed more help with.”