Barbara Roff


Kyrsten White

More time to read. Barbara Roff welcomes students to participate in Teen Reads. She retires after nearly 40 years in education.

Kyrsten White, Staff Reporter

Media specialist Barbara Roff has worked at Manatee for the past 21 years, beginning her teaching career in 1987. She is beloved by both the students and the faculty, and everybody will be sad to see her go.  

Roff decided to enter into teaching for a variety of reasons. For instance, her mother practiced the profession so she had an example in her daily life. Though her mother’s vocation had a large impact on Roff’s chosen career path, her main reason for becoming a teacher was the appreciation she had for school since she was young. It was a natural move into the teaching environment for her. In order to ensure the quality of her work Roff attended three different universities: Warren Wilson College, Regis University and the University of South Florida.

Roff began her career at Palmetto High, where she taught English for 10 years and at Manatee Elementary for four years. She began studying to pursue a job in a library during her time at Manatee Elementary. When she first switched to our school, she taught yearbook and TV production before making the switch to her home in the library.

I think I wanted a broader role because in the classroom, you have only about 150 students, but in the library, you have a lot more movement and more things to do. I am also an avid reader and love books, so it was an opportunity for me,” Roff said.  

Roff’s favorite thing about her work in the library is not the books or the quiet environment; it is the array of students she can help. She truly appreciates being able to assist every student that walks through her doors, whether they were the doors to her classroom or the doors to the library, she was there for their benefit.

“What I enjoyed most about being a teacher and about being a librarian; is the interaction with the students and being able to help, because I’m a helper type,” Roff said. 

When Roff checks out her last book and walks through the shelves and shelves of books for the last time, the thing she’ll miss most is the many students she’s helped over the years. Her love and adoration for each and every student she has encountered has been shown throughout her career. The fact that she has been able to introduce so many students to the many worlds that reading can transport you into has been the most magical part of the experience for her. This wonderful thing is the reason that Roff introduced the Florida Teen Reads book club to our school to give students the chance at fun reading with the possibility of winning prizes.

Roff has spent a good amount of time within a classroom’s walls, so retirement will be a big change for her. She has been a busy, hardworking woman since the age of 14. This will be one of the first times Roff will not have to wake up at the crack of dawn and steel herself for the day ahead. Roff can take her time, and do things of her own volition; and can truly relax, no matter how much she adored our library she will undoubtedly get the rest she deserves. Roff has been a fundamental part of our school for years, and we sincerely hope she enjoys her long deserved retirement. This school would not have become what it is without you.