When you enter High Point R-III school you often smell something yummy cooking. That good smell is credited to Amanda Barbour joining the High Point R-III staff.
Barbour came to High Point after hearing about the position from a friend. She previously worked at Burger Smokehouse in California for six years, however, she had been the cook at Morgan County Jail for two years prior where she really enjoyed cooking.
She has been married to A.L. Barbour for five years. She said he likes her working at the school but never wants her to get tired of cooking. One can certainly understand that after hearing all the rave reviews of her talents. Third and fourth grade teacher Galen O'Donnell said, "She makes the best food and everyone enjoys it every day." O'Donnell went on to express her appreciation for the fresh vegetables Barbour places on the salad bar, but confessed the true treat are the homemade cinnamon rolls.
A big part of Amanda's life are her three daughters, Kaylena, 9, Karoline, 3, and Kenlee, 1. The girls take a lot of her time and she enjoys being able to balance the job and being a mom. Kaylena attends High Point R-III and loves having her mother at school.
Cooking at the school is a very rewarding position according to Amanda. Her favorite lunch is chicken burritos. "The students cobble them up and there is nothing left on the plates," according to Barbour. As a cook that is what you want to see, waste needs to be a thing of the past. Barbour is always making things from scratch which helps to eliminate the preservatives high in fats and sugar. It helps her stay within the state guidelines on sugar and salt content. The state guide lines on nutrition is one of her biggest challenges, but just ask students and faculty alike, Miss Amanda has risen to the occasion and makes the best food.
Students at High Point truly love Miss Amanda's cooking. Brady Asbury, eighth grader, said, "She smells good, like green beans." Gracie Blankenship shared she gets to help pull the salad bar in and out for lunch and each and every day Miss Amanda always says thank you. Gracie also commented, "her chicken quesadilla are my favorite lunch." Student council president, Wyatt Percival, shared "the chicken alfredo is the bomb, Miss Amanda fixes the best."
Barbour finds ways to make treats fun, she once awarded cupcakes to each student who ate all of the spinach on the plate. Another day she had left over oatmeal so she whipped up oatmeal-raisin cookies for an afternoon treat.
Barbour shared her favorite part of being on staff at High Point is the camaraderie between staff members. She attributes that to the leadership of Administrator Toni Westbrooks-Taylor. "Taylor is always behind me 100 percent and that makes my job so much easier." Another example is the school freezer recently stopped working and everyone was in the kitchen offering to help in anyway. Amanda said, "You just don't get that everywhere you work, it is certainly one of the many things I love about this job."