New Teacher Spotlight: Matt Barrett, World Languages



Spanish teacher Matt Barrett is a St. Louis native and Crossroads alum. He remembers visiting the school as a 6th grader because he had neighbors who attended Crossroads. He says he left that day with the impression it was a a school where “everybody knew each other, and it felt like everybody belonged.”

“I think the experience for the students now is similar,” Matt says.

Matt grew up around travel and language. He was born in Italy, studied French as a child, and had the opportunity to explore the world with his family. His father spoke Russian and German. Today, his brother is a translator living in Germany.

After Crossroads, Matt studied Spanish and English at Washington University in St. Louis and in Madrid. He continued his academic work in Spanish Literature at St. Louis University before taking a position at Priory, where he taught for 11 years.

In 2014, Matt returned to Madrid, this time to study business, thinking he might like to use language skills outside of teaching. He was called back to education, though, and began a Master’s in Teaching at Webster University in 2016.

Matt lives in University City with his three dogs, all boxers, and is involved with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. He’s been to 47 countries so far, and is “always trying to arrange to go somewhere new.”

Good news for Matt: He’s been invited to speak at a school in Bogota — somewhere he’s never been — about how chess helps improve academic performance.

At Crossroads, Matt teaches 7th-10th grade Spanish, and is an advisor for 7th grade.