Decades of Dedication

Barbara Dobbert’s legacy of making math fun
Math Teacher Barbara Dobbert helps junior Baron Boric as he works through problems in his AP Precalculus BC class.
Math Teacher Barbara Dobbert helps junior Baron Boric as he works through problems in his AP Precalculus BC class.
Fletcher Anderson

After 34 years of teaching, teacher Barbara Dobbert has impacted thousands of students and hundreds of teachers, but now she’s finishing up her last year. Known for her upbeat attitude and dedication, Dobbert’s students remember her as a teacher who made math fun and engaging. 

I know it’s gonna sound sappy, but I wanted to make a difference in kids’ lives.

— Barbara Dobbert

Her approach, characterized by an infectious enthusiasm for the subject, has made math classes more engaging and left a lasting impression on her former student, junior Micah Lotsoff.

“Mrs. Dobbert comes to class with a positive attitude every day, which makes math a fun place to learn,” Lotsoff said.

Lotsoff appreciates the environment Dobbert creates in class, where students are made to feel comfortable sharing.

“Mrs. Dobbert always devoted time to making sure students were comfortable with what they were learning and emphasized new material until it was second nature,” Lotsoff said.

Her teaching philosophy reflects a consistent level of engagement. Observers note her energetic participation in classroom activities, which aligns with the school’s emphasis on active learning.

“I walked out of the first semester of teaching saying, ‘They pay me for this?’ because I just loved it,” Dobbert said. 

Dobbert’s attentiveness to her students is above and beyond the curriculum expectations, and she has an eye for their needs inside and outside the classroom.

She’s incredibly aware of all of her students. [When] I was struggling with a problem, I never had to ask; Mrs. Dobbert was just there to help.

— Liam Fields, sophomore

“She’s incredibly aware of all of her students. [When] I was struggling with a problem, I never had to ask; Mrs. Dobbert was just there to help,” sophomore Liam Fields said.

Dobberts’ dedication extends beyond her classroom walls, touching the lives of her students and creating a positive environment for the staff.

“I started teaching honors precalc with her, and she never skipped out or missed an opportunity to help me understand what we’re teaching and why we’re teaching it. [She] made sure that we had the best plan for students,” math teacher Alex Schwent said.

Dobbert expressed appreciation for the math department’s collaboration and camaraderie and for the unique traditions they share, such as their frequent pranks, stories, and recipe sharing.

“I love how we joke, play pranks on each other, laugh and tell stories. I love eating lunch there with everybody and collaborating with them, and I am a much better teacher because of my colleagues,” Dobbert said.

One of Dobbert’s favorite traditions with the math office is food sharing.

As part of Homecoming week, the Math Department dressed up as Pac-Man and acted out the game in the CTE hallway with accompanying music.

“I’m known for my taco dip and my buckeyes; the math department is going to miss those,” Dobbert said. 

Her culinary skills are more than just a treat for the taste buds; they have become a cherished part of the department’s culture.

“Besides being a fantastic dish, it often comes as a surprise, which is just fantastic. You’re expecting a normal day, and then next thing you know, there’s taco dip there to brighten your day,” Schwent said.

Looking ahead to retirement, Dobbert plans to return to substitute in her retirement, but not before traveling out of the Midwest for the first time in a while.

“I’m going to Phoenix, Spokane, then to Memphis. I’m going to travel and focus on my family and friends,” Dobbert said.

Dobbert is driven by the hope that she has made an impact on her students, helping them thrive in their current studies and future endeavors. She hopes that through her guidance, her students will leave her class with a greater understanding of math and other aspects of their lives.

“I want to feel like I’ve made a difference, and while in some ways I’ll never know what impact I’ve made, I hope I was able to help someone’s confidence or change the way they think about math,” Dobbert said.

Listen to episode eight of Globe’s podcast, The Orbit, featuring Dobbert.

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Charlie Balestra
Charlie Balestra, Page Editor
Charlie Balestra is a sophomore in his second year on the Globe. He is constantly striving to write stories to the best of his ability. This school year, he is looking forward to publishing more breaking news stories, getting his drivers’ license, and hanging out with his friends more in general. Outside of the Globe, Charlie also participates in hockey and cross country. 
Fletcher Anderson
Fletcher Anderson, Reporter
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