WSFCS Board of Education Candidate Responses, Robert Barr, District 2
Published 12:10 am Thursday, November 3, 2022
Robert Barr, District 2, Republican
1) Describe any experience you have in a public school environment, whether that be as a teacher, administrator, coach, staff member, current member of the school board, substitute teacher, PTA involvement, etc.
I worked in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools for 14 years. I taught third through fifth grades at Moore Elementary; sixth-seventh grades at Paisley Middle; seventh grade at Kernersville Middle School, and served as curriculum coordinator at Atkins Middle School. I have a master’s in education from Wake Forest and a bachelor’s in intermediate education from Winston-Salem State University. I am married to a retired school teacher. My wife taught at Southwest Elementary, Sedge Garden and Prince Ibraham. Between my wife and I, we have over 45 years of experience in education. Both of our children graduated from the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools. Our son completed his undergraduate degree from North Carolina A&T and is working on a master’s degree at North Carolina State University. Our daughter is attending Forsyth Tech and is planning to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the spring. My desire is to be the voice of parents and our community.
2) What do you feel are the biggest issues facing students, teachers and staff at schools currently and within your authority as a member of the BOE, and how would you work to fix them?
The biggest issues facing students, teachers and staff are safety, refocusing on academics and providing teachers with extra support in the classroom. The board will need to provide greater security resources on school campuses. Students have lost over a year of academic growth due to COVID, therefore strategic plans need to be developed to address reading and math proficiency. Decrease unnecessary assessments that inhibit teachers from having time to teach. These areas are the basics of a productive educational environment, so I think the majority of board members would support these solutions. Communication and diplomacy will be the key to secure the votes necessary to solve the critical issues in our schools.
3) What would you do as a member of the BOE to establish relationships with the schools and students outside of being present for all meetings?
In order to establish relationships with the schools and students, I plan to visit schools every week and be accessible to parents, teachers, students and administrators. Whenever I hear concerns, they will be immediately communicated to the superintendent with a follow up conversation about the outcome.