Ann Barnes began her career as a teacher when she graduated from BYU in elementary education in 1986, and she has been unstoppable ever since. She immediately began teaching by serving a mission, then working for the Jordan School District in 1989. She worked at several elementary schools there and then went into the district office as a literacy specialist.
In 2001, Barnes was honored with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and was invited to visit the White House. She continued her education by earning a master’s degree in learning and technology from Western Governor’s University in 2006. Now she’s back at BYU for a second master’s degree in the Leadership Preparation Program (LPP).
Despite the challenges of finding balance as a mother and a student, Ann Barnes has enjoyed continuing her learning through the LPP. The LPP is a full-time master’s program that lasts 14 months.
Barnes was attracted to the program because she could complete it during a sabbatical, and she would have access to the on-site internship opportunities. Deciding to enter the program was difficult for Barnes, but she has ultimately found it to be an uplifting experience.
“The process of deciding to do this program was strengthening to me,” Barnes said. “I thought about the LPP for many years, but it never seemed to be the right time. The sacrifices required were daunting, but I knew that applying for the program and embarking on this journey were the right things for me this year. I could feel the spiritual push to move forward at this time.”
The classes have helped Barnes to grow both academically and personally. She has learned many things she hopes to bring to her career in administration. "[Balancing] the needs of all the different stakeholders we work with is one of the valuable skills I’ve learned,” Barnes said.
Even the challenges Barnes has faced have become learning experiences. “The biggest challenge is the time needed to adequately address homework, housework, family, and friends,” she said. “Prioritizing things has made me more efficient and more likely to be focused on what is happening at the present moment.”
Barnes lives in South Jordan with her three children, one of whom is a freshman at BYU. Barnes loves hiking, snowboarding, and, of course, teaching.
“The kids are the best,” Barnes said. “Seeing their joy in learning and play is invigorating.”
Writer: Kirsten Clancy
Contact: Cynthia Glad (801) 422-1922