As one who loves working with children, parents, colleagues, and community members, Mrs. Barnabee loves learning about people - their interests and what motivates them - all for the purpose of bringing people together to share talents, experiences, and knowledge that positively impact children. In her pursuit to live by the OGS philosophy - "Where Students Come First" - she is committed to nurturing healthy relationships that model for children how to seek to understand, how to listen to learn, and how to try, try again to grow when at first one does not succeed. In her words, “Whether taking the time to engage with someone for a single moment in the grocery checkout lane, or over months and years, loving people means being able to take risks. Risk-taking ignites the dormant sense of discomfort that, for me, often presents the opportunity for deep reflection and wonder.”
Mrs. Barnabee came to serve the Oak Grove School community after serving as an administrator in Elmhurst, Barrington, and Burlington, WI. Since graduating from Stetson University in 1992, she spent her entire previous teaching career serving as a preschool, 3rd grade, 6th grade, and summer school freshman English teacher, as well as instructional coach. In addition to her Bachelors of Arts degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Mrs. Barnabee has achieved multiple Masters degrees in education specialties from Concordia University, St. Xavier University, Aurora University, and finally an Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) from Northern Illinois University. She jokingly states, "Maybe at this point I have figured out what I want to be when I grows up."
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