Medina school renames library in memory of former teacher

Staff Reports Posted 20 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Barbara Barnes

MEDINA – How do you remember an incredible person, friend and teacher such as Barbara Barnes?

That is the question the staff and students have been pondering since her tragic passing on Sept. 29 on the way to a job that she loved. Barnes was killed in a car accident on Lake Road in the Town of Newfane.

Her colleagues, students and loved ones gathered on May 14 at Clifford Wise Middle School as Barbara’s two sons unveiled the new sign above the school’s library. The site will now be officially known as the Barbara Barnes Memorial Library.

Barnes taught special education at the Clifford Wise Middle School for 18 years.

The plaque with Barbara’s photo that read in part, “Her contagious smile, her caring eyes and her amazing sense of humor; no one who knew Barbara Jean Barnes will forget her beautiful spirit. Barbara Barnes cherished being part of the Medina School Community, and she thought of Wise as her second home and its faculty, staff, and students as her second family. We are blessed to have known her, as a teacher and a friend.”

Contributed photos – The library at Clifford Wise Middle School was rededicated as the Barbara Barnes Library last week in honor of a teacher killed in a Sept. 29 car accident. Pictured, from left, include: Joe Byrne, Medina Teacher Association President; Troy Barnes, Barbara’s son; Bruce Barnes, Barbara’s husband; Braidy Barnes, Barbara’s son; and Bridget Barnes, Braidy’s wife.

Joe Byrne, Medina Teacher Association president, said that Barnes was cherished by everyone who had the pleasure of interacting with her.

“She loved being a teacher and being part of the students’ lives,” Byrne said. “It seemed very fitting to her memory and her legacy to name the library after her so that for years to come that everyone walking through the door here will know how much she was loved and admired and how much of an impact she has made on us all.”