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Hi I'm Barry

I am a retired school administrator, a husband, father and grandfather. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I recently retired from a private American School in Bogota, Colombia, where I served as the school head for 13 years. Previous to that I worked 10 years as a public school district superintendent in Washington State. I hold a PhD from Gonzaga University. My experience in Colombia provided me with opportunities to not only work with the elite families of that nation but also create educational programs for the poorest children in that country. For this work, I was honored with Colombian citizenship and decorated with the Simon Bolivar award by the Colombian Ministry of Education. My family is most important in my life. My wife and I have 5 children and our youngest has a rare genetic syndrome, Pallister-Killian Mosaic syndrome. She has been a great blessing to our family and we have learned a great deal from this experience. My grandchildren are another great joy and one of the principal reasons for retiring and returning to the U.S.. Although I am retired from full-time work, I continue to do educational consulting in Latin America and during the last year helped a group create a new school in Panama City among other activities. The remainder of my personal time is spent on our little farm in beautiful Colville, Washington where we grow a small crop of wheat and have a large productive garden. I love the outdoor. Hiking in the mountains, picking wild huckleberries, swimming in our cool, clear rivers and watching wildlife are some of my favorite activities.

Why I am a Mormon

When I was 18 years old I was working in a really rough environment and realized I needed to be sure of my values and what I believed. I wanted to be sure there was a God and what my relationship was to him. This caused me to start studying the scripture, praying sincerely and changing some things I realized weren't so good in my life. The result of this effort was an experience in which I received an absolute knowledge that God is my Heavenly Father, that he knows and loves me and that life continues beyond this mortal existence. This was such an undeniable witness to my spirit that it left no room for doubt. It also provided me with a unshakable faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its teachings. I am a Mormon because of my own personal experience and knowledge, not because of anything anyone else has told me. My life has been blessed in innumerable ways by being a Mormon. I am a better husband, a better father and a better person because of the Church. It has given me many opportunities to serve and grow and greatly increased my knowledge and understanding of our purpose in this life. It has brought me a great amount of peace and joy.

How I live my faith

As a member of the Church we all get opportunities to serve on a voluntary basis. Currently, I am serving as an employment specialist for the Church's Employment program that helps both members and non-members of the Church who need to find employment. The Church operates one of the biggest employment agencies in the world and does it at no cost to employers or to job candidates. We help with all aspects of obtaining employment from creating resumes to interviewing skills and doing online searches. It is very gratifying to see someone who has struggled with unemployment obtain a position that allows him or her to provide for their needs and gain the self-confidence this implies. As a church member we are cared for by our fellow members. Along with other men and women in the Church, I am assigned to visit a number of families on a monthly basis and see to their temporal and spiritual welfare. We become friends and learn to love these families as we get to know them and their special circumstances. It is a wonderful way of helping each other and creating a unified community. I also try to live my religion by reaching out to others not of my faith. I do that informally with my friends, associates and neighbors but also in formal ways by joining with other service groups and have particularly enjoyed my experience as a member of Rotary where I served as a local club president.