Barnhart plans to retire


Layla Dunlap

Michelle Barnhart takes part in teacher spirit week the days before Winter Break.

Jeremiah Erickson and Connor Barlow, Staff, 2nd hour OTMS Productions I

After 29 years of teaching, Pioneer teacher Michelle Barnhart plans to retire.

Barnhart is an eighth grade ELA teacher on the Pioneer team and loves teaching.

“My favorite part of teaching is seeing where my students end up in life. I always enjoy it when my students follow me on social media and I’m able to see what they’ve accomplished beyond middle school,” Barnhart said.

Barnhart’s original degree was in elementary but now she can’t imagine teaching anything other than middle school.

“I wanted to retire while I still enjoy my job,” Barnhart said. “I never want to be known as the grouchy old teacher who should have retired years ago.”  

Kristina Zorn is the science teacher on the Pioneer team and has been working with Barnhart for 18 years (six being on the same team).

“She is fun to work with; she gets things done and keeps our team organized,” Zorn said.

Kadiance Summerlott is a student on the Pioneer team and is in Barnhart’s third hour accelerated class.

“She’s super chill. She lets you have a lot of free space to work on your own and is super laid back,” Summerlott said

Sean Wilson is a student on the Pioneer team and has Barnhart second hour.

“I think she’s pretty cool because she gives us a lot of free time to do are work.” Wilson said. “It feels good in there and it’s a good environment to work.”

Amari Hutton also has Barnhart during second hour.

“She’s super chill; I love having her as a teacher. She is always super laid back when me and Sean mess around.”

While Barnhart is some students’ favorite teacher, she has enjoyed many of her students. Does she have a favorite?

“I had Skylar Thompson when he was in eighth grade,” Barnhart said. “I’ve enjoyed following his football career at K State and now with Miami. He was/is a very humble, down to earth guy.”