Alumni News

Jill Barker (M.A.T. '00) selected as Virginia’s Chemistry Teacher of the Year

Jill Barker was named the 2008 High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year by the Chemistry Department of James Madison University on Nov. 4, 2008. She also was selected as Virginia’s 2007 Chemistry Teacher of the Year by the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST).

Current chemistry majors at JMU nominate their former high school chemistry teachers for the annual High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year award. A departmental committee selects the recipient. 

“The Chemistry Department faculty at JMU is aware of many of the problems that face high school chemistry teachers and wishes to recognize those who, despite difficulties, continue to provide their students with the education and guidance necessary for success,” says Richard D. Foust, head of JMU’s Chemistry Department.

The fact that the award is initiated by former students is a reflection of Barker’s manner of teaching in the classroom. “I incorporate a variety of learning strategies in my classroom so that I can help all of my students be successful,” Barker says. “I will try just about anything if I think it will help my students succeed.”

In addition to teaching, Barker is currently an Ed.D. candidate in Administrative Leadership and Supervision at Shenandoah University. She earned National Board certification in 2005. She has served on the Virginia state textbook and assessment review committees and is the chemistry chair for VAST.

In her nine years of teaching in Frederick County, Va., Barker has taught chemistry and biology at the general, honors and AP levels. She currently teaches chemistry at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Va.

“The entire Millbrook family is proud of Ms. Barker’s achievement,” says Millbrook High School Principal Carolyn Butler. “She is a successful teacher who combines a love of science with a genuine enthusiasm for working with students and helping make each one successful.”