Beth Barkley is a young teacher who teaches at the Cardozo Education Campus located in the Columbia Heights area and last week she had the honor of being named Washington DC's 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year.
Barkley has taught at the school for the past eight years, but lately one of his main responsibilities is teaching Spanish-speaking students who arrived on busloads of migrants sent from Texas and Arizona by their respective Republican governors.
“All of our students deserve opportunities and to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter where they come from,” said the educator at the podium, when her nomination was announced on Thursday, October 12.
The announcement came a year after Mayor Muriel Bowser established the DC Office of Migrant Services to handle the influx of migrants. Since then, about 386 young people who arrived in DC on buses have enrolled in area public schools.
Barkley spoke Wednesday about the need for more support for undocumented students.
"We have been fighting for years for our undocumented students to have access to mental health support," she said. "Many of them have experienced serious trauma in their home countries," she added.
The award came with a check for $7,500, which Barkley said he plans to use as seed money for scholarships to help undocumented students pay for higher education.
«They are part of our community. “They are leaders and agents of change and DC is a great city because they are part of it,” he added.
Mayor Muriel Bowser had words of praise for Barkley, whom she called an “incredible teacher” and said the Washington community should be proud to have her.
“As a teacher at the International Academy, he currently teaches ninth and tenth grade students who are new to the United States and also teaches a Human Rights and Social Action class,” he mentioned.either in a message.
Bowser also congratulatedeither to the other four finalists in the Teacher of the Year selection: Chad Harris, music teacher at Stanton Elementary School; Kena Allison, biology teacher at Washington Latin public charter school; Rabiah Harris, physical sciences and robotics teacher at Ida B. Wells Middle School; and Aneesah Blount, kindergarten teacher at Van Ness Elementary School.