Kansas Master Teacher Award Program
Garfield Elementary School
USD 402, Augusta
Teaching since 1967, Barbara McCalla has learned to emphasize caring and patience. “My students must know that I am a constant factor in their lives, that I really care about them, and that I will serve as their advocate,” she writes. “I believe that teamwork and cooperation are essential components in my classroom and know that learning will take place in this environment.”
An award-winning teacher and involved member of her community, McCalla has a record of exceptional service and professional growth, but she’s at her best with students. Kim Christner, Garfield Elementary School principal, takes pleasure in seeing McCalla work with students.
“The first thing you notice upon entering her classroom is her quiet demeanor as she speaks with calm, soothing assurance and acts as every child’s personal cheerleader,” Christner writes. “As you look at the children you notice the smiling faces, the bright, intelligent eyes, and the confidence they have in their learning.”
A former 3rd grade student, now an 8th grader, recalls the impact of her favorite teacher. “Mrs. McCalla had such an influence on me during the year I was her student,” the student writes. “I remember how she had a very gentle way of teaching. She always gave me the individual attention I needed to excel. When I had to give a presentation, she encouraged me, which gave me the confidence to speak in front of the class.”
McCalla earned her bachelor of music education degree from Wichita State University in 1967, and a master’s of music education from WSU in 1971. She began teaching in 1967.