On February 27, 2012, Barb Calkins, a preschool teacher at the Ladue Early Childhood Center (LECC), received the February 2012 Excellence in Education Award. Barb has been working for the Ladue School District since 1987 when she came to the district as a Parents and Child Together teachers for infants and toddlers. The next year she became a preschool teacher and has been with the school district in that position ever since.
Director of the Ladue Early Childhood Center Dr. Dawn Hogan-Lopez, describes Barb as “a natural with children,” and “genuine, kind and very supportive of the younger learners in her classroom and the school as a whole.” Barb has high expectations for student independence and believes in allowing children to discover and develop their own understanding of the world. Dr. Hogan-Lopez says it is a joy to watch Barb support a child in problem-solving a situation, overcoming an obstacle, or simply building a block structure with a group of young friends.
Barb wears a number of hats at the LECC. She is a five-day-full-day teacher, supervises the care and maintenance of the LECC library, and – perhaps her most glamorous job – she is the center’s carpool supervisor. Barb also helped to design the beautiful new play space at the new LECC.
Her colleagues describe her as a consummate professional who holds herself to an ethical code that is admired by all of her peers. She is also described as someone who is “a beautiful balance of sugar and spice” and someone who challenges everyone to always put their best foot forward for the children and families of the LECC.
Barb was born in California and grew up in Kirkwood. She has one daughter – Diana, who is married to Jim and they are proud to have given Barb her only Grand-DOG, Kiersey. Barb has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Kansas, as well as a Masters in Social Work from Washington University.