Ron Barker,
Yarmouth Middle School Principal

Self-Awareness.  A strong leader has an intimate knowledge of their inner emotional state, knowing their strengths and challenges.

YHS Girl's Basketball, Coach Ron Barker, 1983-84

Plain and simple, Ron Barker was a savior for Caroline in her Middle School years.  The target for much bullying and teasing, Caroline was miserable and felt stymied by the constraits of the regular class room.  Ron Barker, the Middle School Principal and Social Studies teacher, recognized her angst and became her ally.  He shared with her similar feeling experienced in his middle school years and the strategies he was taught to cope and survive.  His ally had been a teacher.  He was just paying back to the universe what he was given by choosing to take Caroline under his wing.  Caroline still has the small pocket stone the Ron gave her one day when they had a particularly long talk after a particularly long day towards the end of 8th grade.  He said to her, "Caroline, you will be leaving me soon and going onto high school.  I am not going anywhere but you won't see me each day.  I want you to keep this stone to know that I will always be your rock."  The rock still resides on her dresser 30 plus years lateras a reminder to keep true to herself, know her limits and capacities and to really know the people that matter most.  Later in high school, Caroline would play basketball for Ron on the Varsity team her junior and senior year, modeling yet another set of leadership skills.  As she began to coach youth softball as a high school student, Ron was a go to resource and mentor to learn the skills of coaching.