16 Oct Introducing FCCF Board Member Stephenia Barkman
Stephenia Barkman is a ray of sunshine here at the Community Foundation. She is a passionate and caring person with particular love for children and education. She’s an asset as a board member and also as a member of the Fulton County community. Read about Stephenia below:
1. Where did you grow up, and where did you go to school? Also, tell us about your family.
I was raised on a farm near Akron, IN by parents, Steve & Kathryn Hartzler. The eldest of three, I graduated from Akron HS, & continued my education, earning a BS & MS in Elementary Education from Manchester College & IU, respectively. I was hired in 1974 by Rochester Schools as a classroom teacher. I enjoyed 39 years of educating young people before retiring in 2013. I was married to Jim Barkman & together we raised our four children on the family farm. Jim was a farmer & elementary school principal, before losing his life to cancer in 2003. Three of our four children live & are raising their families in this community. We are also blessed with nine grandchildren.
2. What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy attending & watching my grandchildren play sports, participate in 4-H, school events, & a plethora of activities. I like reading, being a ‘Grandma Taxi,’ & tutoring, along with working in the yard & decorating my home. As a retired educator, ‘a group of us’ former teachers have bonded together to form TAG, an acronym for ‘Teachers Activity Group.’ We meet on a somewhat regular basis at one another’s homes for meals, camaraderie, & watching British TV series. We especially enjoy traveling together to distant locations.
3. What is your job title and/or what organizations are you involved with in the community?
Following my teaching career, I became a member of the local Retired Teachers Association, serving as co-president. I am a member of the Busy Belle Extension Club, currently serving as secretary. As a member of the Bethlehem Baptist Church, I serve on the communication & pulpit committees, as well as a children’s worship leader. I have been involved in Fulton County 4-H since age 10, as a member, parent, club leader, council member, & currently Extension Board vice-president.
4. What do you like most about your community?
Fulton County is large enough to support three school corporations, yet small enough for residents to celebrate special events together, & help one another in times of need. Many residents are consistently working to maintain & improve our community. I am particularly proud of the county’s libraries, historical society, courthouse, locally owned shops/stores, & the numerous churches that are reaching out & serving others.
5. How did you become involved with the Community Foundation?
Following my husband‘s death, I was approached by a Foundation member to set up a Jim Barkman Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception, numerous deserving youth have received financial assistance in furthering their post high school educations. I am so grateful to the Foundation for the wise investing & management of monies donated in memory of Jim. Since that first scholarship in 2004, I have been an advocate & supporter of FCCF. I’m honored & humbled to be asked, & be a member of the FCCF board. I have learned so much & gained such a respect & appreciation for the efforts of current & former Foundation staff & board members.
6. What do you like about the Community Foundation? What role do you think it plays in the community?
The Community Foundation gives us the opportunity to help others in a much larger & efficient manner than anyone could accomplish on their own. The board allows for the needs/wants of the county to be acknowledged, addressed, & considered as recipients of financial assistance. FCCF has helped me to recognize the generosity & ‘heart’ of so many local individuals & groups!