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News brief: Howard Barnes selected “Teacher of the Year” for MHUSD

Published on Morgan Hill Life’s website on May 16, 2016

By Staff Report

mhusd-logoEvery year, one teacher is selected to be the Morgan Hill Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year for the Santa Clara County Office of Education Teacher Recognition. For 2016, the district announced that Howard Barnes of Sobrato High School is Morgan Hill’s Teacher of the Year.

As a teacher for more than 20 years, Howard has had a banner year, from stepping into the role of Social Studies department chair to his amazing Mock Trial team growing and achieving the honor of moving to the state finals in Sacramento.

Howard has a knack for getting his students to care about social studies and their own learning, said the district in the May 17 board meeeting agenda. He successfully meets the needs of struggling learners while maintaining rigor and high expectations. Students constantly remark on how much they learn as well as how much they enjoy his classes, whether AP World History or Civics. His AP program has proved to be successful with strong passing rates. His Civics classes include simulations to real-world events and politics, bringing the material to life.

Howard reflects on, revises, and innovates his curriculum and grading policies. He spends a week every summer grading AP tests which allows him to improve his own instruction to best support students.  He spends countless hours preparing and advising students in Mock Trial, which is a separate and unpaid after-school activity. Howard is on the school site council and invests in the larger Sobrato community.

Howard is a consummate professional, and his pedagogical and leadership skills as well as his positive rapport and success with students, make him an excellent selection for Morgan Hill Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year.