Homecoming grand marshals: Stu and Barbara Boyd

By May Soricelli
The Surveyor

Long-time Berthoud residents and educators, Stu and Barbara Boyd, get the top seat as Homecoming Grand Marshals in this year’s Berthoud High School Homecoming Parade, this Friday evening at 4 p.m. May Soricelli / The Surveyor

Long-time Berthoud residents and educators, Stu and Barbara Boyd, get the top seat as Homecoming Grand Marshals in this year’s Berthoud High School Homecoming Parade, this Friday evening at 4 p.m.
May Soricelli / The Surveyor

It seems Stu Boyd’s life has revolved in many ways around Berthoud High School, and it is no surprise that during his 46-year teaching career there he met and married his wife, Barbara. It was there they began their incredible journey of education-minded community involvement in Berthoud. Together, the Boyds have made a lasting impact on hundreds of lives in the community through their dynamic and extensive involvement in the academics and altruistic organizations in Berthoud. Because of their lasting impact they were nominated as this year’s grand marshal in the Berthoud High School Homecoming Parade. The couple says they are “very honored” to be selected as grand marshals.

“We have always attended the parade, and this year will be special,” said Barbara.

The education scene in Berthoud wouldn’t be the same without long-standing residents and educators, Stu and Barbara.

“They are both great community members and take an active role,” said Suzanne Cavey, member of the BHS Booster Club. “They want nothing more than to help the Berthoud community grow; particularly in education. Stu graduated from BHS and taught at BHS, so I thought they would be ideal for grand marshal in the parade.”

Education and community have meant an especially great deal to this couple who were married in a Berthoud church 40 years ago, raised a family in the same historic Berthoud house for 40 years, and have spent decades teaching in Berthoud schools. Coincidentally, the week following homecoming Stu will attend his 50th high school reunion of the former Berthoud Junior-Senior High School.

“I’ve lived in Berthoud most of my life,” Stu said. From the age of 6 he lived with his family in Berthoud in a home only one block north of where he and Barbara currently reside. As a child he attended Berthoud Elementary and then later Berthoud Junior-Senior High School.

Stu graduated from Berthoud Junior-Senior High School in 1965 and went off to college to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher. He attended what was at the time Colorado State College (now known as the University of Northern Colorado) and graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in English. He later went on to acquire a master’s degree in secondary education.

Upon returning to Berthoud from college he began his career by student teaching at the Berthoud Junior-Senior High School and quickly made an impression. In 1969 he received his first teaching position at the school and continued teaching there until the late 1970s when he took the role as assistant principal. In the fall of 1981 the high school was moved to its current location on Spartan Avenue and became Berthoud High School. Here he began his teaching role again, specializing in English, speech and theater, immersing himself in each of those areas in order to give his students every opportunity to succeed.

BHS is where the story of Stu and Barbara’s life together began. After a trip to Europe in 1973, Stu returned to work at BHS and learned that one of his colleagues had moved on to another job. The principal informed him someone new had been given the spot.

“No worries, Stu,” Stu recalled the principal saying. “I’ve hired a girl for you.”

That girl was Barbara, and the couple was married three years later at the First United Methodist Church in Berthoud. The church has been an important part of Stu’s life since he was 6 and has played an important role in their lives ever since.

After getting married, due to district policy, Barbara had to move into a teaching role in other schools in the Thompson School District where she taught Spanish and a variety of other classes. In addition, she took over the Berthoud Knowledge Bowl academic competition.

“I always really enjoyed that,” said Barbara.

During 20 successful years of heading up the Knowledge Bowl, Barbara led her team to a state championship. She has continued to help even after retirement because she enjoys it so much.

Barbara taught full time until it was time for the couple to start a family and was blessed with two daughters. Their daughters Jill and Anne had the enjoyment of growing up in Berthoud schools, too. They were involved in many academics, athletics and extracurricular activities. “Most everything in our life revolved around school and church,” said Barbara.

From 2000 to 2010 the couple led student tours to Europe and sponsored kids from middle and high school.

“We organized a whole variety of trips,” said Barbara.

“It was a real growing-up experience for kids. Most of them had never been away from their parents or been in a foreign country,” said Stu.

Some students were so impacted by the experience they later felt compelled to study abroad.

Thanks to social media, Stu has stayed connected with many of his former students who were impacted by his teaching, and he has enjoyed seeing them all grown up.

“Mainly my memories of teaching have to do with the students and the impact I had on their education,” he said. “It’s knowing that we had a part in helping them become who they became.”

He has over 600 “friends” on Facebook, mainly former students. Stu has had the privilege of teaching the children of former students and now is teaching grandchildren of his original students.

“I just told a class the other day, if you had a parent, aunt or uncle who went through school in Berthoud in the ‘70s, ‘80s or ‘90s, it’s very likely they had me as a teacher.”

Despite the fact Stu retired from teaching in 2005, he has still maintained his involvement in Berthoud education. He has spent the last decade mentoring new teachers in the district and has directly mentored all of the current staff at BHS.

“It’s my way of keeping my finger in the education pie,” said Stu, “It’s very affirming. I get to help teachers get their start in an important role. It can be very tough at the beginning.”

Stu has also received fulfilment from currently substituting at BHS. And, for the last several years, Stu has served on the Berthoud Bash board to help raise needed funds for local schools. He has also worked with the Thompson Education Foundation and is a former president of the board.

“I met Stu in the Berthoud Bash eight years ago. I have watched Stu and Barbara take a really active role in community, especially in school and education. He continues to teach and is on the Thompson Education Foundation board and Berthoud School Fund,” said Cavey.

The community of Berthoud has benefited greatly from their involvement. As members of the Berthoud Historical Society they enjoy attending events.

“I love Berthoud history, especially since I grew up here,” said Stu. They have volunteered for Berthoud Meals on Wheels since 1988 and included their daughters when serving meals to the elderly. Stu is the current board president. The couple also enjoys taking turns volunteering as drivers for RAFT. They have assisted with several Habitat for Humanity functions and have been active in their church, the First United Methodist Church. “We both do lots of church community activities,” said Barbara, who received the Quiet Disciple Award at Church this year for all the work she does behind the scenes.

Stu and Barbara believe a large contributor to their daughters’ successful lives started with their experiences in Berthoud and the education they received here. Their daughter Jill was the first editor of the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor as her first job out of college and is now working for the Denver Art Museum. Their daughter Anne is a civilian employee for the Department of Defense in England.

“They both thought that they got a wonderful education,” said Stu.

When asked if they miss teaching, Barbara replied “Not as much, because we continue to be involved. It’s not like we walked out and never walked back. We still are in the community.”