Barbaree to leave Troy Housing Authority
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2000
Feb. 21, 2000 11 PM
Troy Housing Authority’s loss will be TSU-D’s gain.
Taylor Barbaree, director of youth activities and athletics and the Joel Witherington Family Life Center, has accepted the position of coordinator of alumni affairs and development at Troy State University at Dothan. Sunday was Barbaree’s last day with the Troy Housing Authority and he left with mixed emotions.
"Seeing the students come through our doors and watching them grow and mature and knowing that I had some small part in their development made my job a real pleasure," Barbaree said. "Hopefully, something I said or something I did had a positive influence on them. I have enjoyed working here and I feel like I, too, matured over the years. This has been a great learning experience and, if I had to do it all over again, I gladly would."
Barbaree said he was also grateful for the opportunity to work at a facility that bears the name of Joel Witherington.
"He was the first executive director of the THA and it was an honor to work for an organization that bears his stamp."
Barbaree started work with the THA in April 1996 as director of youth activities and athletics.
He is a graduate of Faulkner University but also attended Troy State University.
"Actually, after I came to Troy State in 1990, I never left Troy," said Barbaree, who came to TSU as an aspiring journalist.
While working as a physical education aide and director of the extended day program at Troy Elementary School, Barbaree found that he enjoyed working with young people and in recreation and athletics. He also worked an assistant coach for varsity football and girls’ basketball at Charles Henderson High School.
In 1996, Barbaree returned to Andalusia, his hometown, as editor of the weekly newspaper there. Three months later, he applied for the position with the Troy Housing Authority and was hired.
However, Uncle Sam called and Barbaree’s Alabama Army National Guard unit, the 131st public affairs detachment in Montgomery, was activated to go to Bosnia for 270 days as part of Operation Joint Endeavor. While there, Barbaree was the editor of the base newspaper in Tazar, Hungry.
"Working with a newspaper taught me how to deal with people and gave me the opportunity to hone my skills as a journalist," he said. "I guess I’ve always been a journalist at heart."
Barbaree said working with children and working at a newspaper are different and he can’t choose one over the other.
"I love the kids and I love the newspaper," he said. "I have always wanted to be an athletic director – that would be the best of both worlds. I’m going to miss the kids and the people I’ve worked with at THA. It’s a great organization with a lot of good people involved. But, I’m leaving a recreation type job to go to a more professional business career type job. Hopefully, this job will give me the opportunity to take the next step so that one day I will be in a position to make an impact in an administrative position. That’s the goal I have set for myself"
Barbaree said no matter what path he takes or where it leads him, "I will always try to be the best I know how to be."
Barbaree lives in Dothan with his wife Jenna, who is a vice president with SouthTrust Bank of Dothan.