North Carolina State House, District 86
Tim Barnsback is an NBPTS certified middle school teacher in Burke County Public Schools. His wife Angel is also a lifelong educator, and their son, Miles, attends public school in Morganton.
In 2001, the weekend following their honeymoon, Tim and Angel drove to North Carolina to attend the Western North Carolina job fair. At the time North Carolina was a model for progressive education practices, and it was a leader in the South in teacher compensation and per-pupil spending. The state’s vision was full of promises that would allow for professional growth and the establishment of strong roots for a family and a future.
And then, gradually, something happened. While our neighboring states and the rest of the nation fought out of the recession and began to invest in people and the future, North Carolina chose a path that placed corporate interests over the good of the public. The attacks on public education, in particular, carried a great weight.
Tim saw many of his close friends and valued colleagues forced into the difficult decision of having to leave North Carolina for opportunities that were more fruitful for their families. This was a turning point for Tim as he realized that real work needed to be done in order to ensure that the state that had become his home would prosper again.
Through his professional activism and years spent as president of the largest state-based, non-partisan professional teachers’ organization, Tim has been fortunate to be a voice for his community and public education, receiving multiple appointments to advisory positions from both chambers of the General Assembly. He is most proud to have served our wonderful State Superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson, as a member of her Teacher’s Advisory Council.
As a result of this service, he came to realize that advocacy was not enough. It became obvious that many legislators were distanced from the realities of common people, resulting in a concentration of power and ideology that was not reflective of the values of modern day North Carolinians. This led him to become an active member of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) – serving as a delegate from Burke County to the State Convention, and winning an election to represent North Carolina as a delegate to the National NEA Conference in Minneapolis.
Tim believes in the power of community and its ability to solve the very human issues we face through activism and selfless leadership. He serves on the Board of Directors for Casting for Hope, a homegrown organization dedicated to serving women fighting gynecological cancers in Western NC, helping raise more than $160,000 a year to provide emotional, spiritual, and financial assistance.
He has also founded One Head-One Bed, a non-profit dedicated to providing portable beds to homeless students in NC public schools after discovering that several of his students were living in harsh conditions and were without a place to lay their head each night. Tim lives his beliefs.