The Shinnston News & Harrison County Journal has named Barbara Judy as March’s Citizen of the Month, a program sponsored by Dorsey Funeral Home in Shinnston – locally owned & operated.
By TRINA RUNNER
News & Journal Staff Writer
The mark of a great leader includes recognizing and filling a need, inspiring others into action and leaving a legacy that fosters enthusiasm long after the initial impact. By these standards, Barbara Judy is a leader beyond compare when it comes to academics at Bridgeport High School.
Judy is finishing her final year as the coach for four academic teams that have captured over 40 varsity titles since she started coaching in 1992. Always known as a compassionate and empathetic counselor at BHS, Judy transformed the idea of academic teams when she joined the academic competitions over 20 years ago.
Through her efforts, students were inspired to not only train and win events, but to raise money to improve the programs for future students. Academic team involvement creates a family-like atmosphere and develops skills far beyond simply answering challenging questions. The students are exposed to opportunities to enhance their networking skills and interact with peers as well as adults. They are privy to scholarships, volunteer opportunities, and prone to developing friendships and connections around the state.
Judy’s Quiz Bowl team has six Class AA Titles, four AAA titles, and one year where they were the top team in any classification. The Science Bowl she coaches has had two state championships and one national win. The JETS, which is now TEAMS, competes in engineering feats. Under her leadership, they have won 17 state championships at the varsity level and 11 state championships at the JV level. Her 2007-08 team placed third in the nation. Judy began coaching the History Bowl and Bee five years ago and they have also been strong competitors at both the state and national level.
Judy’s contribution to the community is longstanding. Long before her academic coaching career took off, she was a Key Club advisor and Girl Scout leader. She also plays flute in the Shinnston Community Band and with Flutissimo, a musical ensemble of flutes. She is an active member of the Bridgeport Presbyterian Church, serving on the Outreach Committee and as a member of the Presbyterian Women. She sings in the choir as well.
Her two children live out of state, and when her retirement is official at the end of the school year, she plans to travel and spend time with them and her grandchildren. Although she will continue to substitute teach in Bridgeport, her time as academic coach will come to an end. She will, however, continue to volunteer at academic events and to inspire generations of students and parents in our area.