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TOWNSEND — “I have the utmost respect for Barbara (Freitag) as an educator of young children. She sets high expectations for all students, while incorporating fun activities. She encourages creative abilities, which is evident in the plays and skits her students write and act out,” said good friend and colleague Kathleen McCarthy.

A second-grade teacher at Spaulding Memorial School, McCarthy first had the pleasure of meeting Freitag 30 years ago. She was McCarthy’s son Scott’s CCD teacher. Back then, McCarthy realized how compassionate and caring she was as a teacher. Their paths have crossed over the years when their children went through grade school and played sports together. They both have worked at the elementary school level over the years, and this year McCarthy was so thankful for her support as she moved to a second-grade class herself.

Freitag has lived in Townsend since 1978. She will be married 40 years to her husband, Wayne, this August, and has two grown children, Eric and Lisa and twin grandchildren, Jack and Lilliyana.

While being a stay-at-home mom, she finished her degree in elementary education with a master’s degree specializing in special education. She has been a second-grade teacher at Spaulding Memorial School since the late ’80s. She has over 32 years of teaching experience.

“I love what I do and always have had a joy for it. It is a great profession to have while having a family. It’s so wonderful to have the children in my class of former students. It’s the most rewarding job,” said Freitag.

Freitag enjoys spending time with and taking care of her grandchildren, hiking and skiing, and being outdoors in general. As she nears retirement at the end of this school year, she looks forward to spending more time with her family and hobbies. She says she will miss seeing the growth of her students in her classroom and their excitement of learning, concerts and special activities. She has felt much love and support at Spaulding Memorial School by staff and will have lasting friendships and memories.

Shelley Amari, a fellow second-grade teacher said, “As a child, I recall her being a second-grade teacher alongside my mother. Then she graciously mentored me during my pre-practicum in college. She modeled how to teach a variety of needs and learning styles. Barbara continued to make me feel a part of the Spaulding team when I transferred to Townsend.”

Amari says Freitag will be greatly missed and she can’t imagine not having her at Spaulding Memorial School. She loves how dedicated and hardworking Freitag is.

Amari looks forward to seeing her in Spaulding again someday, maybe as a volunteer or as a grandparent enjoying the concerts and special activities alongside her mother once again.

“The retirement of Barbra Freitag will be a great loss to Spaulding Memorial School. She is an outstanding educator. We will miss her talents, dedication, experiences, professionalism and wisdom. I was fortunate to have her on my staff and you could always count on her to address the needs of the students she served. I wish her the best,” said former Principal Anthony Luzzetti.

Principal Becky Janda says Freitag is a teacher known for her consistency and high expectations. Janda said Freitag has a wonderful way of structuring her classroom in such a way that students know they are safe because they can predict what will come next each day. For many students this type of structure allows them to succeed in ways they didn’t think were possible.

“Mrs. Freitag has an ability to pull the very best work out of each of her students whether in book discussions, writing projects or mathematical thinking. I always enjoy seeing how much progress students make in her class in one year’s time. She has filled such an important role in her students’ lives and will leave holes that will be hard to fill,” said Janda.

It’s time for the next chapter in Freitag’s life but she wouldn’t have stuck with teaching for 32 years if she didn’t love what she was doing.

“I love what I’ve been doing and how I’ve touched them. It’s amazing to see so many successful adults and what wonderful children they have,” said Freitag.

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