Lafayette High School teacher named Japanese Teacher of the Year


The Kentucky Association of Japanese Language Teachers selected Mariko Barnes of Lafayette High School (Fayette County) as the state’s Japanese Teacher of the Year. Barnes, a 14-year teaching veteran, created a Japanese cultural club where American students may interact with Japanese-speaking students to better understand language and culture.

Barnes is a native of Niigata Prefecture, Japan, where she graduated from Yamanashi University. She also earned a bachelor’s in mathematics education from Eastern Kentucky University. She is now in the running for 2020 Kentucky World Language Teacher of the Year, which will be announced Sept. 19.