The Quirky One


As Annie Barten sits down with her morning coffee to grade the papers her students handed in the day before, she reminisces about her weekend, of exploring Los Angeles with her husband or simply relaxing and watching one of her favorite shows, The Colbert Report. Barten, who started teaching English 10 and 10 Honors at CCHS this year, describes herself by saying, “I’m weird, but in a nice way.”
Originally from Ironton, Ohio, Barten jokingly says, “It’s basically, as small as Pawnee in Parks and Recreation.” Although now it’s clear that teaching is her calling, it wasn’t clear at the beginning of her college career. Right out of high school, she went into studying Journalism at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She then went on to complete one of her proudest accomplishments, which was getting her Master’s Degree in School Counseling. She considers this an achievement because her father only got his bachelor degree and her mother only got through high school. Barten says, “It was just important to me to go the extra mile.”
As a teacher, she has been teaching for a decade, six years in Ohio and four in California. Since both of her parents were teachers, she says, “I would never have wanted to become a teacher.” This has obviously been disproven, since for the past three years, she taught at Aspire Pacific Academy. About her old school, seemingly disappointed, she says, “I felt the school I taught at just lacked a lot of resources  for the students, but Culver doesn’t.” She even went on to say “Teaching at a small school, you begin to know all of your students. I’m glad because it doesn’t seem to be changing here.”
When Barten first moved here, her first impression was simply how amazing the reputation Culver City has among its community. She says, “The community has an amazing reputation of being very diverse and the students and the teachers  have all been very welcoming and theres just a lot of  positivity around campus. I also love the diversity in the school because of the different perspectives.”  English Department Chair, Penny Schulte who was on Barten’s interview panel said, “I was impressed by how she seemed really in tune with young people and their interests and I could envision students enjoying her class because she seemed young and relevant. I can see her being an English department mainstay.”
Barten goes on to talk about her favorite things to teach. Her favorite book to teach is The Great Gatsby, of which she says, “I love teaching because every time I teach it, my perspective changes on the book, which is why I love the writing style of F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Barten goes on to say, “My favorite grades to teach are the tenth graders because they’re still very focused, but really fun to be around.”  Sophomore Maki Ifuku says, “She is a very nice person, and I’ve enjoyed having her so far, but I feel like I need to get to know her more.”
Barten is looking forward to another decade of teaching and living in our community.