With much gratitude for a great teacher, mentor and friend; a man who, long before any "women's movement," encouraged and respected inquiring minds regardless of their gender.
Honoring Mr. Barney Myers
Join us in establishing a classroom grant fund for educators in Billings Public Schools in honor of Mr. Myers passion and dedication to the classroom and the many students he impacted while at Billings Senior High School.
$6,850 by 14 people
Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools
"When someone asks why anyone would ever become a teacher, remind them why it’s worth it. Every job has its ups and downs, but not every job can change a life." Mr. Barney Myers was a teacher who made an impact on the students he taught.
Mr. Myers was a math teacher at Billings Senior High from 1942 to 1973 where he provided many students with a solid base in education, especially math. Mr. Myers also coached many sports before focusing on track and cross-country. He began the cross country program at Senior High and his cross-country teams had five state championships in the early to mid-1960s.
A former student of Mr. Myers shared, "In high school, I was a mediocre cross-country runner at best, but I was a good math student and went on in college to study under one of the 20th century’s more renowned mathematicians – a former assistant to Albert Einstein, a scientist who worked with Reichard Feynman on the Manhattan Project, the inventor of the computer language BASIC, and, subsequently, the president of Dartmouth College. He was also a very good teacher.
But Barney Myers was far better.
Mr. Myers had an almost uncanny ability to take some of the most opaque concepts of algebra and calculus and somehow make them clear. He was not a showman; he simply communicated clearly and well. (Indeed, his quiet, almost laconic nature made the one or two jokes that he told during the year all that much more enjoyable. His smile lit up his students’ day . . .)”
Mr. Myers passed away on September 5th, just shy of his 110th birthday. His early days were spent in eastern Montana where he graduated from Wibaux in 1927. He spent two years working on farms and ranches before he entered Montana State College (now University), where he graduated in 1934. He stayed another year to get his teaching certificate.
It was at MSC that Barney met his wife, Margaret “Bess” Griffiths. They married in 1935. They had three children: Joanne, Janet and Joyce.
Another former student of Mr. Myers' shared, "I will start by saying that one of our greatest challenges in accelerated math class (trigonometry jr. year or calculus when seniors) was to try to get this calm, low key fellow to crack a smile. One little smile or stifled chuckle made for a great day in math class. Second, I realized only much later how very lucky we all were to have this fellow as our instructor. He favored no gender, only good questions, hard thinking, and dedication to learning. In fact, in all of BSHS, I never once felt lesser because of being female. It was only once in college at Stanford the concept even occurred to me. Thanks to ALL the great teachers in the Billings School system in those years for their respect, encouragement, and dedication to their students."
Whether you remember him as your coach, your favorite math teacher, a friend, or just a remarkable old guy you met lifting weights at the Y, please consider making a contribution to the Barney Myers Memorial Fund c/o the Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools. Gifts to the Barney Myers Memorial Fund will be used to support teaching and learning in Billings Public Schools classrooms and support great teachers who inspire their students just as Barney did.
All gifts up to $,5000 will be matched dollar for dollar in honor of the impact Mr. Myers made on his students by a graduate from the Class of 1962, Billings Senior High.