Barbara Smith-Vallier has been around the Boys & Girls Club of Rusk County since its inception in 2000.
“My son was a charter member and I always volunteered for the club,” said Vallier.
She has been on the board for more than 10 years and she is the club’s after school teacher.
“She [Peggy McAlister] was having a problem finding someone to teach the after school program so I gave it a try three years ago,” Vallier said. “It’s one hour a week and the focus has been reading and math. I love math so I really do focus on that and Sylvan Learning provides all of the materials.”
Vallier works with students from 4-5 or 5:30 p.m. each week during the school year. The program consists of eight students and they take a pre-impulse test.
“This program gives a student a chance to actually participate and I can eventually see their confidence grow throughout the year,” Vallier said.
Vallier is a former fifth grade teacher at Northside Intermediate and is now the Henderson ISD homebound teacher for the district.
She said she always wanted to teach but it didn’t start out that way.
“I am alternatively certified teacher,” Vallier said. “I didn’t go to school to be a teacher but that is where I ended up and it has worked out.”
Vallier has a bachelor’s in business administration from Stephen F. Austin State University after time in the military.
She earned a masters in public administration from Troy State University in Alabama.
“She does everything here,” McAlister said. “She even mowed our lawn this week so she is very dedicated to the community and the students here.”