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Judith Bauman Barrett ’58 Reflects on her Packer Days

Judith Bauman Barrett ’58 came to Packer in the Upper School. After Packer, she earned a BFA in advertising design from Pratt Institute. She is the author of more than 25 children’s books, including the best-selling Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. For the past 40 years, Judi has taught art at the Berkeley-Carroll School.

Upon receiving the Alumni Award of Honor at a Reunion ceremony on April 21, 2018, she shared several memories:

The Packer Collegiate Institute was responsible for four of the best years of my life: my high school years. They have stayed very vivid in my memory. Packer was my home away from home. It included my fellow classmates, my teachers, and the actual building, all great comforts to me, not to mention the fabulous education that I received, which more than prepared me for college. 

Chapel was a wonderful way to start my school day. Not just the beauty of the actual Chapel with light streaming through its Tiffany windows, but the exposure to a multitude of glorious hymns. I always loved reciting the 23rd Psalm. I was a member of the choir. I loved wearing my white robe and my shiny red collar. Miss Wright introduced me to the joys of choral music, which have stayed with me to this day. My love of opera was most certainly a result of exposure to this type of music.

Even the food was wonderful. I remember very small salads with delectable dressing. And I especially remember that the head of the cafeteria, Mrs. Carmen, was always happy to give me the much desired crusty top of the baked spaghetti casserole when it was on the menu. I can still taste it and recall the yummy crunch.

Upon graduation, as Class President I was given the honor of choosing the music [for the processional]. I chose the Intermezzo from Cavelleria Rusticana, one of my favorite operas. I never forgot that!

Packer was an extremely important part of my growing up and it helped prepare me for the world out there. So I thank you for this most unexpected and greatly appreciated honor. I am humbled by it and will treasure it forever. 

“I was a happy kid in a place where people loved me and saw in me what I now fully see in myself. They treasured me and my talents and encouraged every one of them. What more could I ask for? My literary career blossomed here and has continued to do so to this day.”

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