Danessa A. Barr, Anderson County School District 5’s Teacher of the Year
Danessa is determined to educate and guide her students in positive directions! She teaches 5th grade at Nevitt Forest Elementary School. Here is a bit of Danessa’s story in her own words:
“My sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. JB, was the teacher that sparked my love for math and science. For the first time, I had a teacher who invested in helping me understand challenging concepts. My time with Mrs. JB showed me that I wanted to teach students much like myself who also faced challenges such as academic difficulties, socioeconomic status, and racial disparities. I wanted to influence young people to find their success just as my mother and Mrs. JB influenced me.
Being a teacher is the greatest and most rewarding profession on earth. Being able to cultivate young minds is something not everyone can do. Entering this profession, you have an obligation to be passionate and intentional with everything you do–ardent about making sure your students receive the best instruction possible and intentional about creating the best learning experience possible. This is a calling, and it’s something you must not take lightly. You are a teacher, and that’s a huge responsibility.
The thing I love most about my job is cultivating productive citizens. Not only do I teach my students to be critical thinkers but I teach them how to communicate effectively with others. Not all my students have been equipped with this necessary skill set. I guide my students to present themselves in a respectful manner. My students say, ‘thank you,’ when they are given their tray in the cafeteria– helping them become more responsible and independent humans makes everything I do worth it.”

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