Barnett a fixture at Chocowinity school

Published 7:39 pm Monday, August 20, 2007

By Staff
Educator has taught two generations of children
By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
Because of Lima Barnett, nearly a thousand Chocowinity students know how to do the bunny hop. And because of her, one little boy knows kindness.
For Halloween, she is a witch. And she has been the familiar Christmas carol leader for two generations of children.
For four decades, Barnett has been a fixture at Chocowinity Primary School. Over the years, she has taught everything from kindergarten through third grades. When she and her husband Hugh moved to Washington in 1971, she “landed” at Chocowinity Primary because it was the only Beaufort County school that had an elementary-education opening.
That was when the elementary school was commonly called the Gray Road School and the teachers and children were bused to Chocowinity High School for lunch because there was no cafeteria for the youngest students.
But her students know that Barnett never “just taught.”
She cooked a theme meal or snack to complement each week’s lessons. And she frequently made up songs “to make stuff stick,” she said.
Barnett, lively and expressive most of the afternoon, sat still for a moment.
One of those children was Jimmy.*
For the first time in 36 years, Lima Barnett won’t be returning to the classroom. She retired at the end of last school year.
*News Editor’s Note: In this article, the child’s name has been changed.