Mr. Barton

Sarah Jenson and Zack Hall

Mr. Barton is one of the most famed teachers at Bingham, and not only for his
Elsa rendition at the all-day assembly. He’s been teaching here for for over ten years,
and almost every student at least recognizes his name by the time they graduate.
He decided he wanted to be a teacher during his teenage years. In his own
words, “By 12 I pretty much knew I wanted to teach, and by 14 I was decided. By 15 my
dad was trying to talk me out of it.”
For Mr. Barton, teaching is the perfect career. He’s passionate about opening
people’s eyes to the world around them, and frequently does so in his Humanities, Art
History, and World Civilizations classes. It’s easy to see how hungry he is to live life, to
be, as he said, “…awakened to the possibilities in the world around you.”
This thirst for life might come from the person who inspired him most: Don
Quixote. To most people, Don Quixote is a crazy dreamer, who puts himself in danger
in hope for a frivolous dream. Mr. Barton said about Don Quixote, “He invaded my life. I
see him as a fully unconquerable optimist. He shows that the impossible dream is
reachable, and in the end, all of the trials and challenges and bad days will all be worth
Mr. Barton, then, at least has the goal a perfect teacher should have. He isn’t in
the job because he needed cash or because he somehow ended up there – Mr. Barton
teaches because he is passionate about teaching. He loves the, “adventure of
teaching,” and every morning, not knowing what’s going to happen in his classes.
As we mentioned before, Barton decided on this career while he was attending
Bingham. While there, he practiced the skill of associating with all different kinds of
people, which is necessary for a teacher, as they have to connect to all of their
students.  He said, “I floated around all the time. I would float from the popular kids over
to the nerds and back again.”
According to Mr. Barton, his teenage years were good enough that he doesn’t
“have any regrets–yet.” They were so good, in fact, that he stayed at Bingham to teach
the next generation of Bingham students. His one piece of advice to this student body
deals with connecting to adults, and perhaps even learning to trust them. He said,
“Don’t discount people older than you because you think they don’t understand, or they
don’t know anything, or your music’s too loud.”
All in all, Bingham’s rich traditions and history found a kindred spirit in Mr. Barton,
who stayed at Bingham even after he graduated in order to help his students and teach
them the lesson of, “Once a Miner, always a Miner.”