The real Ms. Barranger may surprise you

29 Comments 31 October 2012

Donna Barranger

Photo by Susan Hatem

By Susan Hatem
Unis Middle School

She’s in the hallways, in the classroom, and always here when you need to find her. She’s a teacher as far as everyone knows. But has anyone taken the time to know who Ms. Barranger really is?

Does anyone now she was born and raised in Texas as an only child? Or that she used to write for a weekly newspaper and TV show? What about her husband’s death six years ago?

Ms. Barranger’s past leads up to her present.
“When I was a kid, my mother was a teacher, my dad was a teacher, and my great-grandmother was one of the first female principals in the state of Texas,” says Ms. Barranger. “My family always told me I was going to become a teacher, but I always said ‘No! I want to be a journalist!’”

But things change. After her husband died of pancreatic cancer, she went back to school and got her teaching degree.

“I was the oldest one in the class,” Ms. Barranger recalled. From her great-grandmother’s achievement to her husband’s tragic death, a lot of her past events led up to becoming a teacher. But Ms. Barranger’s entire life doesn’t revolve around teaching.

She lived in the country of Scotland for three years, where she had her one and only son, Nathan. During her time in Europe, Ms. Barranger worked for a charity organization called Oxfam, which has branches in more than 90 countries.

Now, Ms. Barranger lives in Michigan and teaches 7th grade language arts at Unis. Behind this language arts teacher is an amazing person who lived an interesting life leading up to her becoming a teacher.

Your Comments

29 Comments so far

  1. Fatima Jomaa says:

    Susan this is a great story! I really didn’t know Ms. Barranger that well but after I read this I was surprised.

  2. Fatema Rachid says:

    Wow! Susan, I love your story! Great Job!!

  3. Nour Nuseibeh says:

    Great job Susan! I really enjoyed you story. By the way great picture! :D

  4. April kincaid says:

    Iv’e known Donna for years and I still learned new information. Very good reporting. Thanks!

  5. Reanna Hallal ( 7th hour) says:

    This story was organized and looked like you put a lot of effort towards this assignment. If I had to do the same thing I could not write something as wonderful as this. Mrs.Barranger is my teacher and I did not know her this well. Good job I loved it:)

  6. Fawzieh Jouni 3rd hour says:

    I feel so sorry about her husband. And she is a really good teacher

  7. Roniah Alsebti says:

    My brother had Ms. Barranger, and all I knew was that she was a language arts teacher. But now I know a lot of stuff abut her. I would LOVE to knopw lots more.

  8. Kathy Campbell says:

    Susan, my husband and I contribute every year to Oxfam. I had no idea that I was acquainted with someone as closely tied to this charity as Ms. Barranger obviously is.

    I know her pretty well–she’s always hanging out in the library! Thanks to you, I now know her better. Keep up the good work!
    Ms. Campbell

  9. Mariam Daher 3rd says:

    Good Job:D I never knew that she was born in Texas. You have a lot of imformation about her. Keep up the good work!:D


  11. Latifah Jomaa 5th says:

    I don’t have mrs.Barranger as my language arts teacher, but what you wrote about her was very inspiring to me now i want to have her as my teacher. :)

  12. Mrs. Alcodray says:

    Great story! Thanks for making everyone proud to be part of the Unis family!

  13. hussein hacham 7th says:

    i never new that mrs.barrnger went to scotland i just thaut that see came from texes to michigan and was a teacher vary sad about her housbind

  14. Ayah Hammoud says:

    this is very inspiring i never knew she was born in texas great job,keep up the good work

  15. Ahmad Alhaidi (6th Hour) says:

    what i like about your story Susan is that you went into her told us about ms. barranger that not lots of people knew about.Everybody who has ms.barranger is really lucky. She is one of my favorite language arts teacher.I also like how you wrote the story, you made it interesting, and detailed. Good job Susan, you are an amazing writer.

  16. Sam (Fluffy) Awada (6th Hour) says:

    This story is great! I had no idea that there was so many facts to know about Mrs.Barranger, (husband died,lived in Scotland, worked for a charity etc.) Great story again!!

  17. Houd Mashrah 5th Hour says:

    This was a great piece of writing. It really shows people that teachers can have it as hard as we do sometimes. This was very inspiring and gave me a handful of knowledge about Ms. Barranger. Great Job Susan! :)

  18. this story is very inspiring and gave me some thing to think about when i see Ms.Barranger and what a tragic thing has happened in the past years. Good job susan

  19. Aya Aode 3rd hour says:

    There are some really interesting things I didnt know after all about Mrs.Barranger,I guess her family convinced her to follow in their footsteps of becoming a teacher after all.Great jod!

  20. LeAnn bazzi says:

    Amazing story susan, keep up the good work !:)

  21. Linda Bazzi says:

    Great story Susan ! Keep it up !

  22. Mohamad Hamka (6th hour) says:

    This was a great story. I really liked it!! I never knew that Ms.Barranger was an only child, lived in scotland, and had only one child. Great story!!!

  23. Mustapha Elghoul(5th Hour) says:

    Nice job on this! Did she actually have a tv show? :)

  24. Hanine Abusalah says:

    Good Story Susan. But did she really have a t.v show? Ms. Barranger must be famous!❤

  25. Jollicar says:

    Susan, you are without a doubt, a woman sent by God. You are one of the many few that counitne to prove many people wrong, when they look and don’t see what’s inside other than what’s outside and for that I amour you tremendously. Continue holding on and dreaming those dreams. Kyle Mitchell

  26. Fatima Bouhamdan says:

    Nice story. Great job.

  27. Tahani Smidi says:

    Wow, Susan this and amazing story about Ms.Barranger. She went through alot of things in her life from the good to the bad. I hade ms.barranger 7th and 6th grade and i never knew anyhting about her….:)

  28. Ameer Alhaddi says:

    Wow! I didn’t know Ms.Barranger wrote for a T.V Show! Keep up the work Susan!

  29. Linda Harb 6th says:

    wow she lived in Scotland for three years?
    and I’m sorry for her tragic loss, I new she was raised in Texas because of her country accent. Well I hope her son becomes a teacher like Mrs.Barrenger so it can run on in the family. :)

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Unis Middle School

Unis School serves grades K-8 in the Dearborn Public School District. The school principal is Heyam Alcodray. These are its beliefs about education:

  • A student's highest potential includes improvements academically, artistically, emotionally and socially.
  • Student achievement requires a cooperative effort among parents, teachers and the community to provide encouragement and reinforce core values.
  • Good instruction is assessment-driven, outcomes-based, active, and engaging.
  • Effective instruction touches the world of each student providing for different learning styles and needs.
  • Education is a life-long process that prepares students to be successful, contributing citizens in a changing world.

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