Barbara Elliott has taught math at Visitation for 21 years. In the 2012-2013 school year, she received the Agnes Meyer award for Outstanding Teachers from the Washington Post. It was in her classroom that now Math Department chair Kati Hylden Krueger ‘99 was inspired towards her own love of calculus.
Students like Kati are what Barbara loves best about Visitation. “Being around [students], teaching them, hearing their responses, getting to know their personalities and interests, and see how they approach math,” she said. “I try to work with everyone in their own way.”
With a sharp wit and sense of humor, Barbara took over the AP Calculus classroom from Sr. Mary deSales McNabb. Sr. deSales had just decided to focus on her monastery duties when Barbara was on the search for a teaching position. She said, “It was pure luck, but it was the perfect match.”
In her time here, Barbara has taught more than just calculus; she’s taught nearly every class in the math department. Geometry and AP Calculus (AB and BC) were her favorites. “They are not only fun to teach, but also fun to think about,” she said. “I love learning new things.”
Here’s one fun fact she discovered: her husband, an OB, has delivered one or two of her students almost every year that she’s taught at Visi.
Barbara has four children, and loves spending time with her family. Her eldest son lives in New York - where Barbara is from - and has two children, so she often travels to visit. She’s hoping to do more of that as she retires from Visitation this summer. In her free time, Barbara loves traveling, gardening, and reading. She’s also an avid baseball fan. First and foremost, she’s a fan of the Yankees and the Mets; but in moving to Washington when there was no baseball team to cheer on, she became an Orioles fan and then later, a Nats fan. She roots for them all.
She’s not only a fan cheering from the sidelines. Barbara herself is a softball player in Virginia. She’s played with the Virginia state softball team four times in the National Senior Olympics.
Barbara has always brought that energy into the classroom. Cheerful optimism is her favorite Little Virtue. “I hope my students see that in my class because I am a big fan of every one of them,” Barbara said.