Sister Barbara Louise Volk was born in St. Louis, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1958 and was received into the novitiate as Sister Joseph Helene in 1959. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Fontbonne College in 1958 and a master’s degree in education from Boston College in 1968.
Sister Barbara served 50 years in education. She began teaching in St. Louis at St. Matthew the Apostle (1961-1962) and at St. Luke the Evangelist (1962-1963). She then taught for three years at St. Louis Grade School in Waco, Texas.
Returning to St. Louis in 1966, Sister Barbara taught at Saints Mary & Joseph until 1969. She was then principal and teacher at St. Mary in Bridgeton, Missouri, eight years, and taught at Our Lady of Lourdes in University City, Missouri, for a year. From 1978 to 1981, Sister Barbara was a teacher and principal at St. Michael Grade School in Marquette, Michigan. Sister Barbara taught in the St. Louis Archdiocese at St. Clare of Assisi (1981-1983), and was a teacher and principal at St. Cletus in St. Charles, Missouri (1983-1985).
In 1985, she moved to Kansas City where she taught middle school at Our Lady of Lourdes in Raytown. After taking an art class at the Kansas City Art Institute, she enrolled in art courses at Longview Community College and UMKC to complete Missouri Certification requirements to be an art teacher. As a full-time art teacher she was shared by two schools, Our Lady of Lourdes in Raytown and St. Charles Borromeo in Gladstone, Missouri.
In 1993, Sister Barbara returned to St. Louis to become a full-time art teacher at
St. Joseph’s School, Cottleville, Missouri, until 1998. During her last 11 years in
education, Sister Barbara taught art at St. Gerard Majella in St. Louis. Upon retirement from the full-time program in 2009, she taught in the St. Gerard PSR Program until 2018.
Sister Barbara has received numerous special achievement awards during her 50
years of teaching: