There are teachers who change the lives of students, who instill a love of learning and inspire young people. Jerry Barsby was one of those teachers. On Wednesday, the Eldon School District and the community will celebrate his life at the Eldon Upper Elementary. Fittingly, the celebration will be held in the very building where he worked with so many young students, sharing his love of science.
Barsby, 35, taught for 12 years in Eldon. During that time, he was not only a science teacher but a mentor. Barsby, along with Upper Elementary Librarian Twyla Limbach, started the district’s first Robotics program in 2014-2105. Barsby made learning fun, and he challenged the Robotics students. His life revolved around the school and students.
Barsby passed away April 7 after being taken off life support, following an accident at his home earlier in the week.
As they grieve his passing, Barsby is being remembered as a friend, mentor, colleague and teacher while they focus on all the fun and learning they shared with him.
“It goes without saying that this is devastating news to all of us. Mr. Barsby was a man that touched so many lives. His work with students in the classroom and in robotics influenced students across the district,” Superintendent Matt Davis said. “Anyone who worked with Jerry considered him a friend. Jerry had an infectious attitude and cared immensely for this district. The support of the community has been amazing. The stories that have been shared about Mr. Barsby and his impact on students continue to bring us smiles. Our motto is Together We Rise and we believe it now more than ever.”
Students and faculty have honored Barsby throughout the week dedicating concerts, plays and sporting events in his memory. The Mustang community will gather on Wednesday to pay their respects. Students are putting together collages, and music will be provided by students. Those attending his service are asked to wear the school colors of maroon and gold.
On Monday, April 16, another event will honor his work and dedication to the district. From the beginning, Barsby had a dream for the Robotics program, started as one of the programs offered in the after school LEAP program, to make it to the World Robotics Festival in Houston to compete on an international level.
After endless hours of work, practice and competition, Eldon is sending its first team to worlds next week.
So on Monday Team RoboH20 will be heading to Houston to show the world just what the Eldon Gearheads robotics team can do. They will be competing April 18-21 and have the chance to meet students from all over the world. School officials are planning a send-off to show their support and encouragement for the eight students who will represent the district.
A scholarship fund has been set up at Central Bank to establish a legacy in Jerry Barsby’s memory.