MUSD Teacher of the Year: Stephanie (Cohn) Barger, Estes Elementary School, Fourth Grade
Thirteen years ago Stephanie (Cohn) Barger began her journey touching the hearts and minds of students at Estes Elementary. Mrs. Barger is not only an extraordinary teacher but an integral leader at Estes. She immediately got involved in the school community and began impacting lives in a very special and deeply passionate way. Mrs. Barger has the ability to get on a student’s level and blend in with students she is teaching. You often notice the powerful notes she writes to students or see her whisper in the ears of her students saying, "I believe in you. You can do this." High expectations are simply the norm in her classroom and students rise to the challenge because she makes them feel greatness.
Classroom visits from high schoolers, "Best Teacher Ever" awards from the community, and numerous graduation and wedding invitations are often received because of Mrs. Barger’s infectious touch. Most recently, she received a letter from a student she taught seven years ago thanking her for building her confidence to speak up and bringing out her true personality. The student emotionally wrote, "I am who I am because of what you taught me about myself. I appreciate how you helped me develop as a whole."
Mrs. Barger strongly believes in "giving back" and for the past six years, her classroom students have volunteered to support PAL preschool classrooms, alongside special needs 3 and 4-year-olds. Through her efforts, her students have been a part of the Tucson Museum of Art Outreach program, attended the Peace Conference with her classes, and participated in numerous classroom STEAM activities. An advocate for supporting the 'whole' child, she's led several schoolwide clubs over the years--Fine Arts, Babysitting, and Character Clubs.
As a teacher leader, Mrs. Barger is on the Instructional Learning Team and is a co-lead, igniting a fire of inspiration throughout campus! She impacts PLCs from a leader's perspective, knowing that will ultimately impact solid instruction and academic achievement. She serves as the 4th grade PLC facilitator, is on the Social "Sunshine" Committee, and is an active PTO parent. She has served as a Technology Mentor, cooperating teacher for numerous student teachers, worked with LLI to unpack math standards and create district summative assessments.
Stephanie Barger is an exemplary role model for students and staff and her dedication is profound! Congratulations!