Daush takes love of teaching to association leadership role

The Memphis Daily News/The Memphis News

Nov. 15, 2013

Barbara Daush, president of St. Agnes Academy and St. Dominic School, has recently been named chairwoman of the Southern Association of Independent Schools.

Daush was raised in Wilmette, Ill., on the north shore of Chicago, moving to Memphis with her family in the eighth grade and eventually graduating from Wooddale High School. Because of a dedicated and passionate high school teacher, Daush went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in classics and Latin from the University of Mississippi.

“The discipline of that language, it’s so structured that if one can be successful in Latin, then one will be more than likely successful in any other romance language because it’s the root of all of those,” she said.

At the University of Memphis, she received master’s degrees in guidance and counseling, and art and teaching with an emphasis on English and secondary education.

It was the love for a language that would lead Daush into the universe of independent schools.

“Most of the private schools taught Latin and not many of the public schools did, and the ones that did had a longstanding Latin teacher like Wooddale did,” she said. “So the only option for me at the time was in independent schools, and once I got on that path, I just stayed there.”

She taught for three years at Lausanne Collegiate School when it was an all-girls boarding school before moving to Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School to teach Latin. Her favorite age range to teach would become seventh and eighth grades.

“I absolutely love teaching junior high,” she said. “I just find that age group so enticing. They’re still trying to please, yet they’re trying to find their independence. So it’s a lot of challenge but so rewarding to help them find their way.”

She became the school’s guidance counselor then its assistant head, and then served as interim head. After 12 years, she moved to head of the lower school at Hutchison School for four years before accepting her current position, where she celebrates her 20th anniversary this year . . . (read more)