Barker Wins Teacher of the Year

Mr. Barker has been at Liberty for eight years and is recognized for all his hard work


Micki Morris

Mr. Barker stands in his classroom after receiving his Teacher of the Year gift basket.

Liberty announced its teacher of the year on Friday morning of Nov. 18 before first hour. Teachers gathered in the front entrance waiting for the winner to be announced. The winner? Mr. Matt Barker. 

“All the things no one will ever see, all the things that you do no one will ever see,” Dr. Nelson said to all the teachers before announcing the winner. 

Mr. Barker has been teaching for 15 years but has spent eight years teaching at Liberty. Prior to his tenure at Liberty, Baker taught at McCluer North High School. Barker is known best around Liberty for teaching AP Psychology, though this year he also teaches sociology and U.S. Government. Senior Vaka Shanker had Barker as a teacher. 

“I think Barker is a really good teacher and he helps us learn in different ways and helps us succeed in his class,” Shanker said.

Barker was more than honored to be named Teacher of the Year. 

“It’s a really big honor. This is chosen by the teachers, so I think it’s one of the highest honors you can get. To have the appreciation of your colleagues, I don’t know if it gets much better than that to me.” Barker expressed.

“I work with so many people that I love, respect and look up to. I’m so incredibly honored, but I’m also embarrassed and feel like I don’t deserve it because I look up to them all so much.”

Dr. Nelson was elated that Barker won and enjoys working with him. Nelson said how Barker brings good energy to Liberty and is fun to work with. 

Dr. Nelson stands with Mr. Barker after handing him his gift basket. (Micki Morris)

“He’s just a happy person, I think he’s just one of those people,” Nelson exclaimed. “They say the class is half full, you know type mentality. Wherever he is, he’s always in a good mood.”

When asked what he likes about Liberty, Barker says, “Everything. The students are amazing, I work with fantastic teachers, the administrators are super supportive, all the support staff is fantastic, just basically I’m surrounded by positive people that makes for a great environment.”      

Publications adviser Jonathan Hall has been colleagues with him since Barker began McCluer North. The two teachers started at Liberty the same year.

“I love Barker. He’s a great guy, always there to help you out,” Hall expressed.

All of Barker’s hard work is truly appreciated by everyone at Liberty. Congratulations to all the runner-ups and the new Teacher of the Year!