In 1980, Harker hired Ken Barber to work at its summer school and camps; little did the school know that it would be adding a member to the team who would become a stalwart of the summer school for 30 years. Barber started interacting with Harker that summer in order to secure an opponent for the girls softball team he coached at Quimby Oak Middle School, where he is currently the assistant principal. After adding the games to their summer schedules, Barber started working at Harker during the summer, which turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
At Harker, Barber has been teaching the morning academics for years as well as helping to run and supervise the numerous summer camp activities. “One of my favorite memories,” Barber relates, “is sleeping (or trying to) on the Saratoga field during the overnight activity with the Eagles, while listening to the freeway traffic go by and then having the sprinkler system go off in the middle of the night.”
Over the years, Barber has seen the Harker summer camps evolve with the school, seeing students come, learn and go on to succeed. One of the best things about working at the summer camp, according to Barber, is “watching students go through the summer camp program and eventually return as CITs [Counselors in Training], counselors and teachers.”
Keep your eyes peeled for Barber around campus, as he would love to be a Harker substitute teacher after he retires from public education at the end of the 2011-12 school year, finishing an impressive 37-year career in public education. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get him to tell you “where some of the skeletons are buried,” but be sure to keep the secret, because, as Barber worries, “Miss Kelly [Espinosa] might kill me if I spilled the beans.”