Sustainability Academy at Barnes
Barbara King may have retired from teaching a decade ago, but that hasn’t stopped her from sharing her talents and enthusiasm for being in the classroom several days each year. King, who spent over 42 years in the classroom, several of which were working with kindergarten students, serves as a substitute teacher at the Sustainability Academy (the former Barnes school in Burlington). “I was a good teacher,” she said proudly.
Sporting a brightly colored sweater, bookworm earrings and a big grin, she laughingly admitted, “Before I retired I said I would never ever work as a substitute but then I bought a Prius and the rest is history.” According to Mary Kay O’Brien, a colleague, “King is here almost every day and we are so glad. She has a way of making students feel safe and secure because she has respectful yet clear boundaries. All of the teachers are in competition to get her to substitute in their classroom because the students stay calm and King follows their lesson plans.”
King has been an active VEHI PATH participant for multiple years. “I surpass the maximum amount of PATHpoints needed each year to earn an incentive prize,” she said. “Last summer I participated in the Sizzlin’ Summer Challenge. I live in Milton, walk 4.5 miles a day, including trips to the grocery store carrying my purchases home in a backpack and have lost 56 pounds. I love going to Niquette Bay State Park, taking cruises, golfing, swimming, kayaking and snowshoeing in the winter. Oh, and I square dance once or twice each week,” she said. King dines regularly with other retired teachers at the monthly breakfast gatherings. She has grown children and grandchildren and is fervently engaged in keeping herself fit, remaining socially engaged and in finding purpose in her life. “She is an inspiration to us all.” said Charlene Pariseau, another colleague and very close friend.