Remembering ETHS: Kevin Barry


Noah Kayaian, Staff Writer

After 20 years of working at ETHS, history teacher Kevin Barry will be retiring in a few weeks and pursuing his retirement goals of traveling more and making long-term plans depending on his “family’s desire.”

 ETHS has always been a place that Barry has loved, and he attributes this in part to the large size of the school and the resources available for students. Since starting in Evanston in 2000, Barry has built friendships with colleagues and staff as well as strong relationships with students.

“I had the pleasure of team-teaching with several of the English teachers. I love the interdisciplinary approach,” Barry says. 

This interdisciplinary approach also allowed him and his teaching partner to have a little fun while teaching their students.  One of his best memories while teaching was when he conducted a fake argument to prove a point to his students. 

“I remember when Mr. Belgrade and I were teaching about the unreliability of direct observations: we pretended to argue in front of the students while we stood next to a table holding my laptop,” he says. “45 kids were so riveted by the spectacle of teachers fighting, that they did not notice a third teacher who slowly walked into the center of the room and walked out with my laptop.”

Of the parts of ETHS he is going to miss most, he says leaving his friends and fellow teachers is going to be hard. 

“[I’ll miss] the daily contact with good friends,” he says. 

As English teacher Evan Belgrade will attest, Barry will also be missed. 

“Kevin is an outstanding teacher and an exceptional colleague and mentor.  He’s one of the very best people I know.  His insight, creativity, integrity, humor!,” Belgrade says. “Most importantly, he’s a true friend.  It’s been a privilege to work with and learn from Kevin.  Our school will miss him, on so many levels. “

He will also miss the family of ducklings that call the area near his classroom home every spring.

“Everybody likes ducklings,” Barry says.

As he moves on to a new chapter in his life, he provides these words of wisdom to ETHS students, present and future.

“Keep reading. Don’t live with regrets.  Take healthy risks.  The worst outcome is never as bad as your worst fears,.” Barry says.