Each year Teachers College (TC) honors a few of our outstanding alumni with awards that celebrate the impact that they have on their community, field, and the TC family. The Patron Award is given to a benefactor who provides significant financial support to the college.
Barbara Wind – Teachers College Patron Award Winner
Barbara Wind is the recipient of the Teachers College Patron Award. She graduated from Teachers College with a bachelor’s degree in 1962, and a master’s degree in 1964, both in Elementary Education.
Over the years she taught first and fourth grades. She was a Public Welfare Caseworker, a Child Protection caseworker, and following that, the Director of the County Welfare Department in Marshall County, Indiana.
Working with the Girl Scouts, she organized and supervised a program for girls living in migrant camps in Marshall County. She was the Executive Director of United Health Services, in South Bend, IN, a not-for-profit umbrella agency for five health related organizations. She developed a preschool program, Bridges School, serving children from 2-5 yrs. The program continued for 25 years and closed in 2012.
Barbara has a passion for seeing that that those working in early childhood education have the training they need to do their jobs well. With her generous gift, Barbara funded a scholarship program to support teachers in rural areas of Indiana, where access to such training is the most difficult to find.
What made you want to earn a degree in education?
When I graduated from High School in 1958 there were limited options for young women. Both of my grandmothers were teachers in one room school houses, but without college educations. As a first- generation college student and not having access to other options, it was the obvious choice. It was a fortunate choice because I loved teaching.
What made you choose Ball State?
Ball State was a Teachers College in 1958 and the best place to be. Affordability was also important and the costs were very reasonable.
Do you have a favorite part of your time at Ball State? What do you look back on and remember fondly?
The best part of my Ball State experience – the friendships made. I remain in touch with my college roommates although we live in different parts of the country.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out at Ball State.
Explore ideas, try something new and don’t be afraid of failure. A poster I keep in my office says:
“Remember: There are no mistakes, only lessons.” (And you should have some fun, too).
What is your favorite part of working in education?
Although I enjoyed the classroom teaching experience and spending time with children, my favorite part of working in education is administration, teaching other teachers. In any administrative position, you’re responsible for creating a supportive learning environment for employees so you can all work together to serve the best interests of children.
Fun fact about yourself:
I’m 82. It’s not as much fun as being 45, but I’m making the best of it.