National recognition: Vincents Barnes given prestigious teaching award

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2006

A 30-year veteran of the classroom was honored Friday at Vincent Middle/High School with the prestigious American Stars Teaching Award.

Debbie Barnes, who was been teaching biology at Vincent Middle/High for 30 years, was honored with the U.S. Department of Education award. A graduate of Vincent herself, Barnes also has also served as the school&8217;s track and field coach, leading the team to several championships.

&8220;She&8217;s been here 30 years contributing to the community. She&8217;s an outstanding biology teacher,&8221; said Gary Minnick, school principal. &8220;She holds students&8217; attention because what she is teaching is real and important to her.&8221;

Barnes was given the award during a surprise ceremony at the beginning of last Friday&8217;s football pep rally. The American Stars Teaching Award is given annually

to only one teacher in each state.

On hand Friday to present the award was a representative from the U.S. Department of Education, state Superintendent of Education Joe Morton and U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus. More than 4,000 teachers were nominated for the award nationwide.

American Stars recognizes and honors superior teachers with a track record of improving student achievement, using innovative instructional strategies and making a difference in the lives of their students.

Previously, Barnes has been named the Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) teacher of the month for October 2005