After working at for 29 years, it's clear why Traci Barker-Ball has a fan base among the city’s youth.
Barker-Ball, who runs the Student Services Office, works with teenagers every day, and considers it a pleasure.
“Peer counseling is one of my pride and joys because the 88 teens are so hard working, ethical, caring, responsible, respected, energetic, enthusiastic and well balanced,” she said. “We have a lot of fun and I get to watch them grow as they explore the world around them.”
But her commitment to Poway’s young people can be a challenge at times.
“The biggest challenge overall has been in balancing a work and home life. Putting in so much effort and energy into other kids, especially when I would get emotional about one of my PHS kids, was hard on my family,” she said.
But Barker-Ball said by communicating, she’s able to build strong relationships.
“I married my best friend almost 34 years ago and we still remain in a strong marriage because we are respectful of each other and are still best friends,” she said. “Having said that, however, I think it is important to still have the girlfriends. I am fortunate to have four friends that get together and remain close after 45 years.”
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
“I’ve always admired strong women and come from a long line of women who were ahead of their time when it came to breaking society’s norms. As a result, I’ve never been afraid to make my own path. As a teenager I worked for Thom McAn shoe store and was the first female salesperson in L.A. County. Up until then, only guys could be salesmen, girls were cashiers only. Women’s History Month, I believe, honors all the strong women who were not afraid to stand up for what was right and to help break stereotypes.”