Retiring – Kathi De Bari

Kai Hemingway, Editor

Kathi De Bari is a math interventionist and speech- language pathologist for grades 4-8 at St. Albans City School and was employed 1 July, 2004.

While De Bari has been at SACS since 2004, her teaching experience doesn’t start there.

“I’ve been doing this for twenty years and I’ve been at St.Albans City School for 16 years,” De Bari said.

With her twenty years of teaching experience, De Bari easily recounts her favorite moments.

“Oh I just love it when I see that light go off in my student’s heads like, ‘Oh I got it!’. I think that is the absolute best,” De Bari said.

While not a traditional teacher, De Bari still has a specific type of class she enjoys greatly.

“Well what I do- actually I’m not a classroom teacher, I’m a speech and language pathologist. So I’ve been able to teach actually all the way from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. I think my favorite part of that is – I see kids individually and in small groups and then I work in large groups and what I think one of my favorite things about that is when I get to do large group lessons in kindergarten. I love to read books to kids, I think they get so much out of it and when they listen is incredible. They come up with so many great comments and ideas, I really like that,” De Bari said.

De Bari’s greatest achievement coincides with her student’s learning and success.

“Well, I get a lot of satisfaction in what I do because I help people to communicate and when I see a child overcome whatever barriers they have to their communication. That’s just so satisfying, it’s amazing and when they know they can talk and are communicating and can get their point across and people know what they’re saying or trying to say, I get so much satisfaction out of that,” De Bari said.

As her time at SACS comes to a close, De Bari looks to her future plans.

“It’s a little scary not coming into work everyday and seeing all of my students, but I have lots of side hobbies. So to have time to devote to that is really exciting. I do botanical dyeing, I gather leaves and make prints out of those, and then I’m going to be working with the Invasive Species Project to help get invasive species out of the waterways. So that will be my summer thing and after that, I don’t know. I may travel a little bit, but I tend to stay close to home and work on projects,” De Bari said.

While recounting her future plans, De Bari thinks back to what she wanted to accomplish before retiring.

“Well, you know it would always be nice to have more time to spend individually with children, but their needs are pretty great and so I’ve had too, at times, spread my time around. I would have liked to have more time to spend individually with kids. There’s always new things you can do. As I get ready for retirement and I see new therapies coming out, I’m always like ‘Oh, I wish I could be around to learn that and bring it back to my students”, but there’s new people working and they’re wonderful and they’ll learn how to do it,” De Bari said.

As De Bari leaves SACS to further on the path of life, she thinks of what she wants to take on her journey

“The community. St. Albans City School has an amazing community that always does whatever they can to help the kids, to help each other. It’s a very caring community and one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and take with me wherever I go,” De Bari said.

Just as she would like to take something, De Bari thinks of what she’d like to leave behind for future generations.

“I would like to leave an understanding with people, an understanding that kids, everyone, has different ways of communicating and we should be mindful of that and take the time to really listen to everyone and I think they do,” De Bari said.

De Bari chuckles and she recounts her future plans during retirement.

“Well, I don’t know yet. Right now, as I said, I’m just kind of dedicating myself to my projects. There’s certainly- the pandemic has certainly changed things and the need to do things closer to home than I may have done before is there, but like I said, my plans right now involve staying in Vermont and working towards helping out with the environment which is very important to me and which is why I’m going to be working with the Invasive Species Project. I could also see myself volunteering at schools and possibly at City School, and just reading to children. I think that, basically, I don’t have great plans, but definitely I always see myself staying connected to the schools and helping out with kids and their communication and literacy,” De Bari said. 

If you’d like to leave a personal message for Kathi De Bari, send her an email at kDe [email protected] or send a letter to SACS at 29 Bellows Street, St. Albans City, in care of Kathi De Bari.