Joliet West High School career and technical education (CTE) teacher honored by ISU


Last updated 10/31/2019 at 1:45pm

Joliet West High School CTE Teacher John Barber was honored as the 2019 Illinois State University's Outstanding Young Alumnus from the Department of Technology on October 25-26, 2019 as part of the University's Homecoming and Alumni Day activities. ISU recognized Barber for his accomplishments and sustained interest in and support of the Technology & Engineering Education Program, the Department of Technology, and Illinois State University.

In addition to attending the University's Homecoming and Alumni Day activities, Barber accepted his award on Friday, October 25 and gave a presentation to faculty, students, alumni and other interested individuals. In his presentation, Barber reflected on his career and commented on ways of maximizing educational opportunities.

John Barber graduated from Illinois State University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in Technology Education. He earned his master's degree in School Leadership at Concordia University Chicago in 2014. Barber continues his education, taking master's level courses to stay up-to-date with the ever so changing field of technology. Barber has been an active participant and presenter in multiple professional development opportunities offered through the Association for Career and Technology Education (ACTE), the Illinois Association for Career and Technical Education (IACTE), and the Three Rivers Education for Employment System (TREES).

Barber began working at Joliet Township High School - West Campus during the 2009/2010 school year. He has been teaching Career and Technical Education (CTE) at Joliet West for the past 11 years. He is currently teaching Automotive Technology, A+ Certification: Skills for Computer Repair, and Electronics and Robotics. Additionally, he has taught Electricity, 3D Computer Animation, and Introduction to Technology. Barber is also very involved at West. He serves on the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), School Improvement Planning (SIP) Committee, and he is a CTE Teacher Leader. Barber also is the sponsor for Tiger Tech, Video Game Club and he is the Bass Fishing Coach.

Throughout his 11 years teaching, Barber has been very involved within the community. He led a service-learning project with the Joliet Police Department in which his students had to diagnose and repair an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Robot donated by the US Military to the police department. The robot was not functional when the Police Department received it. Barber and his students successfully repaired the drive shaft assembly, located the proper gear pattern, and re-geared, while trying to track down and source the parts from businesses across the nation. Barber also promotes continuing education, providing students the opportunity to travel to Illinois State University and participate in Technology Day and compete in LEGO Robotics at Joliet Junior College.

Mr. Barber teaches skills that will be utilized in the "Real World" in a fun and entertaining setting. He challenges his students to think outside of the box and strives to make learning fun by showing them how the skills they learn will relate to their everyday lives. Barber has previously been recognized as a Joliet Area Great Teacher and Exemplary CTE Teacher. While this is his greatest honor to date, John Barber is most excited to know that the students that he has taught, currently teaches, or will have the opportunity to teach will become leaders in Career and Technical Education, receiving recognition as Illinois State University Outstanding Young Alumni in the futur


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