The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

Photo courtesy of David Small

Digging Deep into Marshall’s Past

January 10, 2023

Have you ever wondered how your teachers grew up and how they came to be who they are? Some people envision that their teachers are all Fluvanna natives who live boring and basic lives. But by digging deep, you can find that many Fluco teachers actually have some crazy stories to tell about their past.

English teacher Barbara Marshall, who teaches Language Arts, Creative Writing, and Mythology, grew up and lived in Cape Elizabeth, a small town in Maine. From her house near the beach she could see six lighthouses from the front yard.

In school, her favorite subjects were art and science, but she enjoyed learning foreign languages like Spanish, and found English an easy subject. A highlight of her junior year was going on an exchange trip to central Mexico where she went to Mexico City and Guanajuato, as well as stayed with a Mexican family for a month in a small town called Acambaro.

In 1978, she graduated from Cape Elizabeth High School and moved on to the University of Rochester where she majored in English and Psychology while taking art, history and religion classes. “I struggled with calculus and chemistry, but I know now it shouldn’t have been so hard. I didn’t understand how to use office hours or ask for help. If I had more support in understanding how college worked, I may well have remained a science major,” said Marshall. She added, “If you are a first-generation college student, make sure you get support at the school from someone who knows the ins and outs of college. It makes a huge difference.”

Afterwards, Marshall went to University of Virginia and Mary Baldwin University for a postgraduate professional license in education. She has been teaching at FCHS since 2008 and previously taught in Charlottesville and Albemarle. Her favorite subject to teach is Mythology.

Marshall admits to seeing some weird things happen while teaching, like hearing when there was a bear at the middle school, or when one of her students wrote their entire assignment in Elvish runes without the need of the internet.

After school hours, Marshall likes to help the environment. “I am a Virginia Master Naturalist, and I do environmental volunteer work, as well as birdwatching. I like to garden and cook, and I enjoy spending time with my family,” she said.

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    Craig ConnerJan 11, 2023 at 2:31 PM

    And she does have a “Big Year” number.