Spotlight

Barmore named Ruston Kiwanis Outstanding Educator of the Year

December 14, 2018

Veteran Cedar Creek faculty member Donnie Barmore has been named Ruston Kiwanis Outstanding Educator of the Year.

Here is an article about Coach Barmore in a recent edition of BayouLife that may explain some of the reasons why he was selected.

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A Japanese proverb states, “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” If you could single out one thing that makes a school exceptional, it would probably be the caliber of teachers. Cedar Creek throughout the decades has been fortunate to have had a remarkable number of great teachers. One, however, stands out above the rest.

Donnie Barmore.

Here since the early days of the school, “Coach” Barmore, as he is known, has been more than just a teacher who imparts a large amount of knowledge about history, civics or economics on his students. That he does, for sure. His history lectures are legendary, laden with stories and facts he delivers with vibrancy and enthusiasm. But what he brings to the classroom is so much more than lectures.

Former students offer some of the best anecdotes:

During his time at Cedar Creek, Joseph Bailey (class of 2018)  elt that Coach Barmore had the biggest impact on my life. “If it were not for him I would not … grown as much in my faith. Coach Barmore always encouraged me to live a life for Christ just by living his own life. Coach Barmore’s classes also taught me to study, and for that I am thankful. Coach Barmore has had a bigger impact on my life than he will ever realize.”

Another 2018 graduate Kathryn Maxwell echoed Bailey’s appreciation of Barmore.  “I am most grateful for Coach Barmore because he has been such a Godly influence in my life.  He is so encouraging and supportive in all my endeavors and never fails to put a smile on my face.  Coach Barmore is one of the hardest teachers at Cedar Creek and continues to make his class resemble that of a college class.”

Students also credit with Barmore’s influence beyond the classroom. Anna Katherine Tollett (2018) said, : “I learned so much in his American history and civics classes, but, I have learned more by his example and through his leadership in FCA.”

Their sentiments were reiterated by Cedar Creek alumnae Michelle Jones Landry, class of 2004, who recollected the atmosphere in Barmore’s class: “When you walked into Coach Barmore’s classroom, you immediately felt his love for teaching and his love for his students.  His positive spirit and passion are contagious, and even years later, just the sound of his voice will brighten your day and put a smile on your face.”

Barmore is the longest-serving faculty member at Cedar Creek. Besides his academic contributions, he also has served in several other roles, including athletic trainer, swim coach and athletic director. He sponsors the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the P7 Bible Club.

A Louisiana Tech University graduate, Barmore also served as a youth director at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston. His unwavering faith is ingrained in his daily interactions as he shares his deep beliefs with students and the rest of the Cedar Creek family. And he continues his support of the school after the bell rings. He frequently is found on the sidelines at many school events in the evenings, lending his encouragement to the students’ extracurricular activities.

His co-workers offer words of praise as well. Fellow teacher Liz Craft said she was fortunate to have a classroom next to his. Often during her open hour, she could hear his commanding voice as he shared his infinite historical wisdom with the students. “I felt as if I was in one of my beloved college history classes all over again,” she said. “I was often enthralled.”

Andrew Yepson, Cedar Creek Head of School, sees Barmore’s role as one of the foundations of the school. “He’s a rock, someone we’ve always been able to depend on to create an exceptional classroom environment, not only because he has a wealth of knowledge, but also because he has an ability to share that in way that engages the students. He’s respected by so many – the students, his fellow faculty and staff, the parents, the alumni … You really can’t measure what he means to the school.”  

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