Barry Retiring after 21 Years of Teaching

Olivia Brown

Saying goodbye to an important part
of the ELHS community

“I love sharing my enthusiasm about other cultures and the beauty of knowing another language. Being able to talk to someone in their own language will never be replaced with phone translators, the expression on someone’s face when you talk to them and they know you understand is just so much richer,” Spanish teacher Laura Barry said.
Beloved by ELHS, Ms. Barry made the decision to retire at the end of this school year. With experience ranging from C level to AP, she has had her fair share of teaching over her 21 years at ELPS. She started in middle school and then moved up to high school in 2008. “Every chance I can get I try to take students to other places to get an experience of the culture. I want them to see how interesting life is outside of East Lyme,” Ms. Barry said. Not only is she a teacher at ELHS, but she was able to create a foreign exchange student program for many years that ended after COVID. “Ms. Barry has always been so kind and compassionate to her students. She is such a good conversationalist and is always upbeat. I have spent two years with Ms. Barry, and I will greatly miss her,” sophomore Katie Avery said. As it is hard for Ms. Barry to leave, it is also hard for some students to see her go. “I love to learn Spanish and find it really interesting. Ms. Barry always has different things like Gimkits, Sr. Woolys, and videos to keep the class entertained,”
sophomore Owen Pazzaglia said. Ms. Barry loves to be able to put her own creative spin on the curriculum to make her class fun. She is able to teach the department curriculum while using her own materials
and resources. “I guess my childhood dream for my third career is to be around books,” Ms. Barry said. After finishing up with projects on her home, Ms. Barry plans to work at the Hartford Public Library once on retirement
to help people studying for their citizenship tests or students in an after school program with Spanish. “I will very much miss my colleagues. They have been amazing throughout the years. They are like another family,” Ms. Barry said.