We’ve all met those dedicated souls who pour themselves into work, play, and family life. They raise the bar for everyone around them through their tireless efforts, inspiring others to a higher standard. On the North Thurston Education Foundation Board, Dorn Barr is one of those people. A longtime teacher in the district, she turned her passion for education into working behind the scenes but is now ready to retire from the Board and slow down…a little.
After graduating from Western in 1969, Barr worked with marketing and yearbook at Capital High School for five years, then spent 29 years at Timberline High in marketing, leadership, and health. “After retiring, I went to Ocosta Elementary in Westport with Title 9 Reading for a semester before taking off to Spain,” she explains. She then spent 2017 and 2018 with 5th grade at Lakes Elementary working for her former student, Jamie Roberts.
“I would have to say the Elementary school experiences were the best for me because I watched the growth of each child as they learned something new, and then they were able to use it,” Barr recalls. “However, my high school kiddos stay connected to me, and I love watching them as adults, and I am sad when I lose one. They are all precious to me.”
Her move from educator to Board member was an easy transition. “The year after retiring, I was invited to join the NTEF Board by Tom MacRobert, who I met at college where we both worked in the coffee shop and later both taught at Timberline.”
“I joined because I believe in community service, and what better way to give than by helping kids?” says Barr. “I began working on the Scholarship Committee and just finished my tenth time. I also was in charge of fundraising luncheons. When they need me, I am there.”
And she encourages others to step up and do what they can. “For those considering joining the Foundation, everyone is needed. You all have talents and skills which can help our kids! As a former teacher, I saw firsthand what kids need. I didn’t know the NTEF existed, so when my students needed something, I found a way to get it, even if it was out of my own pocket. I am so grateful that the Foundation has expanded their assistance for kids and families.”
Born in Maine to parents who met in England during World War II, the family moved to Seattle when her father took a job with Boeing. “Most of my relatives live in England,” says Barr, “I have been there ten times and, during extended visits, attended school there as well. My parents have both passed; however, I established a scholarship in their names.”
“My parents were avid supporters when I joined the Foundation. Now that I am completing the longest time for a member on the Board—9 1/2 years—it isn’t something you can easily walk away from! Next October, we’ve got a golf tournament at Capital City, and all hands need to be ready to help!” Her love to travel and four active grandsons mean little actual downtime, but Barr is excited for what the future holds.
If you can’t join or volunteer yourself, don’t forget that helping the Board is as simple as shopping. Both the Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program and AmazonSmile allow you to donate a portion of your purchase to the NTEF. Every little bit helps, and like Dorn, you too can raise the bar for today’s hardworking students and educators.