skip to main content
Barbara Starnes Staff Photo

In 1972, I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree  from the University of Tennesse, Knoxville. My majors were English and English Education , but I also had a minor in psychology.

From 1979 - 1979, I worked on a masters degree. In 1979, I received a Masters of Science Degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; major areas included English, English Education on the Secondary Level, and Curriculum and Instruction. During this time,  I added a minor concentration in history.

In 1985, I was selected as one of fifteen Stokely Scholars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This summer program was an intense study of regional literature with Wilma Dykeman and Dr. Jim Wayne Miller, scientific research with Dr. Neil greenburg, and American Studies with Dr. Lee Humphries.

Then, I spent the next 5 years taking a "Renassiance approach" to course work, which meant I expanded classes outside a specified program and took courses in fields I just wanted to learn. This included 30 graduate hours in psychology, history, American Studies, political science,  and religion. Then I discovered a new passion - archaeology and anthropology and took 52 graduate and undergraduate hours in these two fields, which produced another major.

Lastly, in 2000, I started a second masters program. This time the work was done at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. These courses were in a newly created program, Masters in Liberal Arts Studies, with a focus in Appalachian Studies.  


My first foray in teaching came directly out of college. From 1972 - 1975, I taught at Parrottsville High School in Parrottsville, Tennessee. I taught English II, English III and English IV. In addition to teaching, I was co-sponsor of the yearbook, directed school plays, was Beta Club sponsor, and was cheerleader sponsor.

In 1976, I was hired by Morristown City School System to teach English at Morristown - Hamblen High School West and am currently in my 34th year at West. I have taught all four levels of English, while I have been here. However, I have spent the most years teaching sophomore English and junior English for the past 8 years. At West, I was the Sponsor for the Trojan Scholars' Academic Team for 27 years and traleved throughtout the state and nationally for competitions. Additionally, I was a co Beta sponsor for 15 years and have recently returned , after a 2 year absence.

Also, immediately after I received my Masters degree, I was adjunct faculty in the English Department at Walters State Community College for 7 years. I taught freshman composition courses, both on campus and throughtout East Tennessee.

Then, in 1985, I started teaching part time in the TALL Program at Tusculum College. For the next 7 years, I taught a series of intense writing and research companion courses for Tusculum and even did some  grading evaluations for portfolios. These classes were for adults in the work force  and who wanted a college degree in order to advance in their careers.