Mary Barnes has been part of the guidance department at North Kingstown High School for 28 years, working behind the scenes to keep grades, schedules, and the myriad "data" of high school life running smoothly.
She likes her job, loves it even, but has been happy to stay in the background. Recently, she was forced into the spotlight, when Supt. Phil Auger called a special faculty meeting.
"Dr. Auger said he had an announcement to make and then he made it and I was shocked," said Barnes.
She had been named the 2013 NK Educational Support Professional of the Year. (The 2013 NK Teacher of the Year was awarded in September to Sally Levesque.)
Though pleased, Barnes said she's not the only one who should be honored.
"The people in my department are great and they are easy to work with and we all know when you have to pitch in and go above and beyond," said Barnes. "So it isn't just for one person, the award is really for everyone. We all work together as one unit."
She's been happy in her job, she said, because "I enjoy being with the kids and the people I work with at the high school are just wonderful people. It's a nice, close knit group of people."
Barnes added, "I just really and truly enjoy my job and the people and the kids."
Congratulations Mary, and thanks.