Who Am I?

My name is Marsha Barrow. Besides being an English teacher, I play many other roles in life. I am a mother, a grandmother, a writer, a traveler, a musician, and a friend just to mention a few.

I attended Central Texas College in Killeen where I majored in Interdisciplanary Studies, transferred to Texas Tech where I majored in General Studies receiving my BA in General Education with concentration areas in English, History, and Sociology. I completed my teacher certification through LeTourneau University in Austin, Texas.

Although this is my 11th year as a High School English teacher and also my 11th year at Ellison, I have a total of twenty-four years experience in education. In addition to my teaching certification, I hold a lifetime paraprofessional certificate. For three years, I team-taught in the 6th grade classroom at Burnet Middle School in Math, Language Arts, and Special Education. For two years, I coached 6th, 7th, and 8th grade P.E. and Jr. High off-season athletics, also at Burnet Middle School. For the next five years, I coached 4th and 5th grade P.E. and taught Theater Arts at Shady Grove Elementary, also in Burnet, Texas. During those five years I wrote, directed, and published four plays. I also created an Enrichment Program for the elementary school.

I was nominated Educator of the Year in 2000, and nominated and elected Educator of the Year in 2001. Also in 2001, I received the Mari beau B. Lamar Award of Excellence in Education as well as Who’s Who Among American Teachers.

In 2000, my first children’s book was published: Mrs. Chameleon and Her Chair.

I am a member of a National Ladies Story Circle, and enjoy sharing, reading, and writing with these ladies from around the world. I am also a member of Faith Writers. For Faith Writers, I have received two first place awards for short stories, two third place awards, and two commended recognitions.

My husband, James, and I raised four wonderful sons: Keith, Dustin, Blake, and Nathaniel. Keith is an elementary librarian at
Neidig Elementary School in Elgin, TX. Dustin is a bilingual elementary teacher in Round Rock, TX and his wife, Vicky, teaches a third grade bilingual class in Pflugerville. Blake teaches Special Education in Bentonville, Arkansas. Nathaniel is an Elementary PE Instructor at Neidig Elementary in Elgin. Fifteen years ago, James lost a six-year battle to cancer, and I decided to pursue my love for teaching and English on a high school level. During this time, I spent two years teaching Pre-K (4 and 5 year olds) and another two years as a substitute teacher at Burnet High School.

I have eight beautiful grandchildren: four grandsons—Colsen, Ayden, and Braylen who belong to Blake and Angela, and Padric who belongs to Dustin and Vicky; and four granddaughters—Emerson (Emmy) who belongs to Keith and Kim; Crislyn who belongs to Nathaniel and Marla; Agatha who belongs to Dustin and Vicky; and Brynlyn who belongs to Blake and Angela.

I mentioned that I am also a traveler and a friend. My best friend, Kaylyn Groves who also teaches English at Ellison, stood by me when James was battling cancer, and at the end, she helped me make it through that very rough time. Since then we have been through good times and bad times together. Some of the good times are the adventures we share in traveling. We have been to Mexico, Canada, Niagara Falls, South Padre Island, and on drives across the United States just to name a few. We have toured lighthouses and old painted churches of the South, been on ghost walks, trekked through caverns, climbed Enchanted Rock, cruised the lakes and oceans on riverboats, and have enjoyed live theater productions such as “The Phantom of the Opera,” “A Rocking Christmas,” and “Oklahoma.” One summer, we traveled through 21 states, Canada, and Mexico. Some of the highlights of our travels include seeing the Chincoteague ponies on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, touring New London Harbor on a fishing boat in Connecticut, exploring the islands of Lake Champlain in Vermont, and driving 500 miles across Canada to Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes. Four summers ago we traveled over 4600 miles enjoying fantastic places and scenery headed to and from California: Pecos, TX; Carlsbad Caverns, NM, the UFO Museum and Research Museum Center in Roswell, NM; stopped at the Continental Divide; drove through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert in Arizona; visited the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam; spent an evening in Las Vegas, NV; and drove through Death Valley. We stayed a week in Folsom, California but took several day trips such as visiting Old Sacramento and eating lunch on a paddleboat called the Delta King; and shopped Old Folsom. Our trip into San Francisco included driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, touring the Cable Car Museum as well as riding on the cable cars, having lunch in Chinatown, and taking the Bay Cruise at Fisherman's Wharf. We visited Lake Tahoe and feasted our eyes on Emerald Lake, picnicked in the park, and rode the Squaw Valley Tram up the mountain where the 1960 Winter Olympics was held. On our return journey, we strolled the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, enjoyed lunch with friends at Seaside on Monterey Bay, and got up close and personal with the huge redwoods and sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park. We stopped in Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum in Tehachapi, CA. The drive through the Mojave Desert was long and hot, and by the time we arrived home, we welcomed the AC and swimming pool.

We have visited many states and Canada. Some of our highlights included watching the Peabody ducks march on the red carpet to the lobby and fountain at the Peabody Museum in Memphis, TN, cruising the Mississippi River on steam powered riverboat, playing real life escape rooms in Jackson, TN and London, Onterio, going to the horse races in Canada, visiting the King Tut Exhibit in Michigan,experiencing the hands-on living of the Ska-Nah-Doht tribe in Canada, exploring several museums, watching the fireworks from a hotel balcony, eating wonderful meals of the areas, and visiting many friends and family members.

Last summer, I vacationed in Costa Rica and Panama. The tropical countries of Central America are beautiful. This summer I spent a week on South Padre Island and traveled to Bella Vista, Arkansas to visit my son's family. We enjoyed two days in Branson, Missouri touring the Titanic Museum and the Butterfly Palace. We also had a pleasant time at the Dixie Stampede and the Moses Sight and Sound Theatre. We then traveled to Eureka Springs, AR to watch The Great Passion Play.

I have two dogs: a Minature Schnauzer named Trudy and a Minature Poodle named Macy. Trudy is 8 years old and weighs about 12 pounds. She loves to howl with her nose pointed skyward, especially when I leave to teach school. I rescued Macy on a trip down to Brownsville, Texas. She was only four weeks old, had not cut any teeth yet, and was in dire need of the Vet's attention. It didn't take long for Macy to recuperate and become a healthy, happy puppy. Today, Macy is 12 years old. She loves swimming and diving for her pool ball. She also does tricks such as sitting and lying on command, giving high fives, counting to three, catching a ball thrown in the air, fetching, rolling over, dancing, speaking, and playing dead. She will even talk to you on the phone. However, Macy is slowing down a lot due to age and arthritis. Both Trudy and Macy love traveling, playing with children, and cuddling on laps!

The greatest reward in my life, besides my family, is teaching. This is who I am.