SIDNEY — Sidney High School guidance counselor Anita Barton is retiring after 21 years at SHS, and 31 total years in education. Prior to coming to Sidney, Barton was a guidance counselor at Lehman Catholic High School for one year, and a social studies teacher at St. Marys Memorial High School for 10 years.
Barton completed her undergraduate degree from Wright State University, and earned her master’s degree from the University of Dayton, where she majored in social studies comprehensive education for grades seven through 12.
When Barton’s career began, she was teaching social studies subjects like government, psychology, and sociology at Memorial High School in St. Marys. It was during her time there that Barton helped implement a Dropout Prevention program.
“It was an intervention program under a grant called Dropout Prevention,” Barton said. “It was a really nice program, which really led me towards counseling.”
Barton then began counseling at Lehman Catholic High School in in 1995, before making the moving over to SHS the following year.
“I was actually working for Sidney City Schools, but I was under auxiliary services, so I have to thank Mike Barhorst for giving me my first job as a counselor,” Barton said. When a counseling position became available at Sidney High School, Barton made the move over.
“I just felt the high school would be a better fit with my background,” Barton said. “Because I had always been in public education.”
Barton said her years as a guidance counselor were some of the most rewarding years of her life and that she has been very fortunate to have had such a successful career.
“It’s really been a rewarding career. It’s one of those jobs that you never know the impact or change that you’re making, it’s not instant gratification,” Barton said. “But years later, when you run into someone at Kroger and they say, ‘Oh, hey Mrs. Barton!’”
Not only did Barton say she will miss the students that she worked with on a daily basis, but her co-workers as well. She noted how close she has become with them and how important that is to her.
In retirement, Barton plans on spending time with her husband Brad and her daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Barton Ulrich, who graduated as an emergency room physician at the end of May. Barton also plans on spending time traveling and with her pets.
“I want to thank Sidney City Schools for the wonderful years, my work family, my co-workers, my students. I’ve made some of my best friends through this school,” Barton said. “Sidney holds a special place in my heart.”
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.