Helping West Virginia Children Thrive

Angela Jerabek speaking on stage

All West Virginia children will not just survive, but they will thrive. BARR’s Founder and Executive Director Angela Jerabek and Deputy Director Rob Metz recently attended the Game Changer Golf Classic to focus on supporting students throughout West Virginia. 

The golf event was an opportunity for organizations, such as the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, to focus on how to prevent substance use amongst youth and help them achieve healthy futures. 

During the event, Jerabek spoke about the history of BARR and the model’s two pillars: relationships and data. She shared how BARR provides a structure for educators to discuss each and every student weekly by a team of teachers. BARR provides a process, training and coaching for teachers to identify issues early, get resources to families and ensure every student is getting what they need and focus on their strengths. 

Knowing West Virginia has more than 25,000 amazing educators who have committed their professional lives to supporting youth, she emphasized how BARR can bring systemic change in schools to both result in a better educator experience and improve student achievement. 

Educators from BARR schools Nitro High School and Hedgesville High School in West Virginia also attended the event. Hedgesville High School current BARR Coordinator Carissa Tress and next year’s BARR Coordinator Emma Bernardoni attended the event along with the Nitro High School team, including Assistant Principal Brian Barth and BARR Coordinator and Counselor Megan Meadows. Meadows shared her first-hand experience how BARR has transformed their school by strengthening relationships with other educators and their students. Through the weekly meetings, they have been able to understand their students as a whole child so they can truly know them as both a person and a learner.

“You really never know what a simple conversation could lead to.” Meadows said. “With the framework of BARR, we are now able to have those meaningful and powerful conversations with other educators in our building and it has been life-changing.” 

As leaders continue working together to create a plan to support students throughout West Virginia, we know that with the same teachers, same students and better results, together we can build something extraordinary. 

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