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On Friday, Feb. 1, Jefferson Somerset Principal Cory Oliver announced that the 2019 Teacher of the Year for the Jefferson County School District would be Cynthia Barrington.
Barrington was surprised in her classroom by Principal Oliver and other administrative staff while her students cheered on their remarkable teacher.
An educator in Jefferson County for over 29 years, Barrington currently teaches second grade students at Jefferson Somerset Elementary.
Starting her career as a Jefferson County teacher, Barrington taught at the Jefferson Elementary School for 27 years. When the Somerset Charter took over Jefferson County's public school system, Barrington was one of the talented teachers included in the transfer.
With a proven record of instructing students who
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achieve life-long gains and a background in providing mentorship to her former students, perhaps it is no surprise that Barrington was honored with the title of Jefferson County's teacher of the year.
“I love children, I love to challenge them and watch them succeed,” said Barrington.
For Cynthia Barrington, her journey to Jefferson County began long before she became an educator.
A native of the Caribbean, Barrington spent her childhood in the Virgin Islands.
“My grandmother raised me, and she was very in depth with education,” said Barrington.
Surrounded by a family of educators, Barrington began to feel as if she could be an asset to the lives of children as well as to the educational system itself.
Eventually, Barrington came to the States on a basketball scholarship and would receive her Early Education Bachelor's degree from Florida A&M University as well as an additional Masters degree in Guidance Counseling.
“My favorite thing about teaching is building relationships with students so that I can have a better understanding of how to teach all levels. Additionally, I utilize their gifts to enhance the lessons so that it can be exciting and engaging,” said Barrington. “Lastly, it enlightens my heart when my students experience an ‘aha moment'.”
The act of building a relationship with her students as well as the parents of her students is something that Barrington considers to be her greatest strength.
“I feel that a relationship has a lot to do with what you are doing,” Barrington adds.
Through a strong relationship with her students, Barrington is able to teach her students at their level, push them, challenge them and help them make the gains they need in order to succeed.
While her the children in her classroom are still young, Barrington says that one of the biggest challenges that her second-graders face is believing in themselves and their ability to learn.
She considers it her job to help them achieve whatever their future can offer, and to let them know that someone cares.
“They can exceed to a higher level, and I am here for that,” said Barrington.
Her personal creed is a quote from American author and leadership expert, John C. Maxwell: “Kids do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
And that is what Barrington does – shows that she cares.
Outside of her classroom, Barrington enjoys shopping and spending time with her family. She is married to Jefferson County native, Bernard Barrington and has a daughter and three step-children.
With her husband, Cynthia Barrington resides in Tallahassee.