For her outstanding contributions as an elementary school teacher, Joyce is recognized on the Donors’ Wall of Fame by Village School PTO of Emporia, KS.

Joyce (Hurt) Barr is a native of Brownell, Kansas, and a graduate of Hays High School, Hays, Kansas.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Home economics in 1962, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1963, from Fort Hays State University.  Her Master of Science degree in Elementary Education was from Emporia State University in 1981.

Her teaching career spanned twenty-seven years, of which twenty-three were as a second and third grade teacher at Village Elementary School, Emporia, KS. Her teaching career began in Ness City, KS in 1963, teaching first grade.  From 1963-1967, she taught kindergarten and third grade at WaKeeney, KS.  She also substituted and served as a teacher’s aide while raising her family.

During her career, she served in many capacities, including President of the Village School Parent-Teacher Association, on the Emporia Teacher Council, and as a National, State, and Emporia Education Association officer.  She served on several district committees in the Emporia Schools, and was recognized by the University of Kansas for twenty-five years of teaching in Kansas.

Joyce is and has always been active in community activities as well: serving as a host family for a foreign exchange student from Germany, as a foster parent for Emporia State University Boys basketball students, and as a 4-H project leader.  She served as a PEO officer and has been active in the Eastern Star, the First United Methodist Church, the Choir of Emporia, the Emporia Friends of the Zoo, and the Friends of the Public Library.

She has two children, Dean Eric, who is married and lives in Olathe with their daughter. Her daughter, Jana DeAnn, is married and lives in Aviano, Italy with their two daughters.

Joyce retired in 2000, and is the epitome of a caring, professional teacher. Her work ethic, attention to academics, and dedication to the personal needs of students set her above her peers.  Her annual exploration of the Council Grove historical culture, ability to bring books alive as she reads to students, exciting hands-on math and science activities, emphasis on students projects, and support on new education initiatives ensured a fun and valuable learning experience for her students. 

Throughout her career, she never lost her roots, combining the best of the new with the best of the old, as day in and day out she quietly and efficiently went about the business of helping students learn to make better lives for themselves. 

No teacher can leave a greater legacy than Joyce (Hurt) Barr.