Physical Education Instructor Sets Roots in Hometown
Born and raised in Colusa County, Michael Barber has spent most of his life living in Arbuckle and had no plans, or desire to live elsewhere.
While attending Butte College, Barber discovered his passion for youth sports after being employed with Chico High School coaching track.
“I just loved it,” said Barber, “I loved working with kids and helping them become successful.”
Reflecting on his high school experience, he realized he played every sport and enjoyed it.
“I thought, why don’t I just do this as a career? Become a PE Teacher,” said Barber, “from that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a PE teacher. Once I knew what I wanted to do, I just got it done.”
Barber was recently hired as the Physical Education instructor with the Pierce Unified School District where he splits his days between the mornings at Arbuckle Elementary and in the Afternoons at Pierce High School. He also is the health instructor for the freshmen class at Pierce High School.
From a young age, Barber recognized how much he valued community.
“Whenever I went away to school, I couldn’t wait to come back and see my family and friends,” he said, “It was only an hour away but during the whole week I was ready to come home and see family, friends and my community. Your community is your family and friends. You know everybody.”
Barber commented that the feeling of home was what brought him to set root in his hometown.
“That feeling has only gotten stronger and part of why I wanted to come back and teach here. I knew how the people were, and I wanted to be a part of that and help make that impact on other kids, so they would want to come back and contribute to making this community better and grow and be stronger,” he said.
All things outdoor along with exercising and fitness make up Barbers hobbies and interests.
“I enjoy camping, hiking, fishing and anything that gets me moving,” he said.
Fall is Barber’s favorite season as he explains, “I enjoy Fall because of the change of colors, the school gets going again, and I coach JV Football. It’s also the lead up to the holiday season. The holidays are always fun around here.”
When asked to share his favorite local event, Barber enthusiastically named the Arbuckle Car Show, which happens in October.
“I am impressed with how the school helps out with fundraising efforts which are used to improve the appearance of downtown Arbuckle,” said Barber.
Barber hopes to get involved with the Arbuckle Parks and Recreation District to increase the participation and diversify the sports played.
“They have a basketball program established, but would like to bring in some sports like Volleyball and those that aren’t as well known like Team Handball,” he said.
Arbuckle is unique in Barber’s eyes because it has a slower lifestyle.
“This town thrives and we are getting stronger and better as a community too,” he said, “Our school size is increasing, and we are now up to Division 4 which is what kids from bigger cities play. Kids want to go to school here.”
Barber lives in Arbuckle with his wife, Callie and their newborn daughter Rumi.