Staff Feature of the Month: Barb Kowalski


Photo by Isabelle Davis and Richard Meyer Jr

Mrs. Barb is hard at work greeting students and staff who walk into student services. She plans to celebrate fifteen years at South next school year.

Delaney O'Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief

Walking into the Student Services office, students and staff may be met with a familiar voice saying, “Hi sweetheart!” or “What can I do for you, honey?”  That familiar voice is Barb Kowalski, or Mrs. Barb, as most students call her.

A fourteen-year veteran in the building, Kowalski worked her first eight in the Dean’s office and then moved to the Student Services office.

Kowalski says the students are what makes her job great. She looks forward to homecoming week, football games, and pep rallies at South.

“I love my job, I really do, and it’s because of you guys,” Kowalski said.

Kristi Boe, Assistant Principal of Student Services, noted Kowalski is “very passionate” about her job and “gives 110% every day.”

“She loves working with people and making connections.  She is a hard worker, and I can always count on her to get any task completed to the best of her ability,” Boe said.

Much of Kowalski’s positive attitude comes from the point of view she takes. Growing up, her mother taught her to be kind and often said “if you can’t be kind or say something nice, don’t say anything.” Kowalski still uses those lessons every day at South, especially when interacting with the students.

“I love being able to help kids. I always picture, you know, what if that was my kid?” Kowalski said.

Many students can attest to this.

“Mrs. Barb is the best. She’s always so nice and caring,” said Jamiya Wilkins, junior.

Alex McHugh, senior, describes Kowalski as the “sweetest, kindest lady ever.” McHugh recalls every time she sees her in the office, Kowalski smiles and makes sure McHugh is having a good day.
“When I was a freshman, I was very anxious about starting high school because I came from a different school district,” McHugh said. “I remember visiting the office during freshman open house when I first met Mrs. Barb, and she greeted me so warmly and made me feel like I’m somewhere I belong.”

Outside of school, Kowalski enjoys spending time with her grandchild. She also likes gardening during the summer.

Next school year, Kowalski will celebrate fifteen years at Plainfield South but reassures us she plans to work here for a long time.

“I love it here,” she said. “I plan on being here in a walker.”