A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Barb Ransom

barb-ransomBarb Ransom is not your ordinary school teacher—she is extraordinary for her overall giving and adventurous life inside and outside of the classroom. She is also one of the many dedicated teachers at the Montessori Academy to go above and beyond in remarkable ways for children.

Ransom and her daughter, Kathleen Ransom-Cuson (licensed music therapist with Accessibilities, Inc.), began the Toddler Music Program at Valparaiso’s Montessori Academy about two and a half years ago and it is still going strong. (For more on the Toddler Program, please go to http://www.valpolife.com/community/education/11390-montessori-school-of-valparaiso-toddler-program-emphasizes-skills-in-all-areas-of-life) Currently, Ransom is teaching her students the Pledge of Allegiance and lets all of them hold the American flag as it is passed around the room.

“We are doing so many fun things in our classroom; we never have a dull moment. A salt water tank was donated to the children and we had a lot of fun maintaining and restoring it. Soon, I will be helping my students overcome fears of Halloween, such as bats and witches, and some intimidating aspects of wintertime like snow and ice,” Ransom said.

Both she and her husband, David, went on a job related mini-vacation to Ohio and made sure to enjoy the Cincinnati Zoo. Ransom had to see all of the creatures the zookeepers had to offer, but desperately needed to see the wonderful polar bears which are her all time favorite animals.

She was also involved in the Breast Cancer Walk in downtown Valparaiso last year and will be again this year. Another walk she is looking forward to is the Autism Walk in April.

“As humans, we should try to make every day new with a positive attitude. Without that positive attitude, you won’t have fun and live each day to its fullest. We have to enjoy life as it is and help out whomever we can,” Ransom said.

Before becoming a full-time employee of the Montessori Academy of Valparaiso, Ransom received qualification to be a Mental Health Technician. However, instead of following that career route, she decided to volunteer at Montessori, where her daughter was enrolled at 17-months old. Ransom was grateful to have such a prestigious opportunity offered to her from her mother-in-law who was a part owner of the academy at the time.

Ransom has been enjoying her students and their many talents for 25-years at the Montessori Academy and she is not stopping there.

“I really love shopping for new crafts, books, toys, et cetera for the children in my classroom to have fun with. I always plan a year ahead for my lesson plans; I’m just so excited for everything happening as it is and watching my students achieve and grow. It’s the best feeling in the world,” Ransom said.

When she is not in the classroom, Ransom enjoys shopping with her daughter, watching movies, going with her husband to zoos and watching trains, gardening, and enjoying her hot tub. Nature is also very calming to her.

This is what Barb Ransom had to say in closing about loving and fun relationships with children:

“If you have children, enjoy them; do things with them. Take advantage of downtown Valparaiso’s activities because it’s the little things that they will always remember. It’s not about how much you spend; it’s about how much time you give. Read to your child, take them fishing, go to the Popcorn Festival… they will revisit those memories again and again. I love our program at the Montessori Academy and I’m sure anyone who asks about it will, too,” Ransom said.