Barrington music teacher selected for district award

Barbara Hughes named Barrington's teacher of the year

Posted 9/9/19

Barbara Hughes does not seek out the spotlight, so when the longtime music teacher at Barrington High School heard she had been selected as the district's teacher of the year, she was not sure how to …

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Barrington music teacher selected for district award

Barbara Hughes named Barrington's teacher of the year

Posted

Barbara Hughes does not seek out the spotlight, so when the longtime music teacher at Barrington High School heard she had been selected as the district's teacher of the year, she was not sure how to respond.

In fact, when Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore stopped by the high school to share the news with Mrs. Hughes, she was preparing for the worst.

"When I saw Mike Messore coming down the hall to speak to me I thought I was in trouble," Mrs. Hughes said.

Mr. Messore had nothing but good news for Mrs. Hughes, who first began teaching in Barrington schools more than 30 years ago. She started in 1985, working two and a half days a week at Nayatt Elementary School. She has since worked in just about every school in the district, and has been at the high school most recently.

Her contributions are numerous, said Mr. Messore. 

"She is very invested in the schools," he added.

Mrs. Hughes has helped build the high school's music program into one of the best in the country — her students regularly perform (and win awards) at prestigious events across the U.S. 

Mr. Messore said Mrs. Hughes has also helped develop a special music and dance program that partners Barrington High School students with their peers at inner-city schools. She is also a member of the school improvement team at the high school.

"And she's extremely humble," said Mr. Messore. 

When Mrs. Hughes was announced as Barrington's teacher of the year recently, all the educators and staff members at the event gave her a standing ovation.

"She's very deserving," said Mr. Messore.

Mrs. Hughes said she loves teaching and spending time with Barrington students. Her work often requires trips out of town during off-school hours, but that does not bother her.

"Teaching in Barrington is a gift," she said. "I get to go to work every day and have fun. I teach what I love in a great environment with people I enjoy and who care deeply about the arts and its impact on our students. 

"The best part of teaching in Barrington is seeing what kids are capable of each year. They never disappoint. Connecting with young people through music is unique and never gets old!"

Mrs. Hughes said her father always wanted to be a math teacher and she believes some of his love for the profession rubbed off on her. 

"My dad always wanted to be a math teacher but felt pressure to become an engineer instead. He lived vicariously through me and was so happy that I found such enjoyment in the profession. I think of him a lot when I'm in the classroom," she said. 

Mr. Messore said a team of school district administrators work hard to select a recipient for the teacher of the year award — there are many hard-working candidates, he said. Mr. Messore said the award-winners are often a reflection of their entire department. 

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.