Now retired from a successful career in education after 20 years, Patricia Barnes Walker, PhD, was a teacher, assistant principal and principal for the Virginia Public School System and a state supervisor for the Virginia Department of Education in Richmond between 1967 and 1987. She subsequently held adjunct faculty appointments at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. During her tenure as an instructor, Dr. Walker also excelled as a consultant and trainer for Allied Corporation in Petersburg, Ohio, and for the Virginia Department of General Services in Richmond.
Following her departure from education, Dr. Walker and her husband owned their own business, the Aquarian Bookshop, between 1997 and 2004, during which time she trained with some of the leading experts in hypnotherapy, specializing in age and past life regression. Following this period, she became involved with the theater in 2007 as an actress, director, producer and playwright. Dr. Walker has since directed numerous plays and performed numerous roles, in both professional and community theatre, and has written eight one-act plays, two one-act musicals and three full-length plays, all of which have been seen on local stages.
From 2010 to 2019, Dr. Walker served as the executive producer of the Bifocals Theatre Project in Richmond, which is an extension of Chamberlayne Actors Theatre. The only theatre company by seniors, for seniors, Bifocals presents four touring events per season, visiting senior living facilities around the Richmond area, as well as presenting two performances of each event on the Chamberlayne Actors Theatre stage. From 2016 to 2018, Dr. Walker also distinguished herself as the president of the Chamberlayne Actors Theatre, which is now in its 57th season.
From the time that Dr. Walker was a child, she discovered that she liked to make things. Her most important thing is that she likes to create. When she and her husband had owned a book store, a friend of hers had asked her what she wanted to do. After much consideration, she decided she wanted to create things. Even as a child, she had a way with words, writing short stories and skits. For people who cannot come to the theater, Dr. Walker brings the theater to them. There aren’t that many plays available where all the actors are seniors, so she started writing plays in which all the people are either older or can be performed by seniors.
Acquiring a Bachelor of Education in elementary education at Salisbury University in Maryland in 1967, Dr. Walker later received a Master of Education in reading at the University of Montana in Missoula in 1974 and a PhD in urban services at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1985. She is a certified teacher and is certified in administration in the State of Virginia. A member of the National Association of Female Executives, Dr. Walker is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Delta Kappa. A celebrated Marquis listee, she has been included in the first edition of Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.
In her spare time, Dr. Walker is a prize winning quilter and fabric artist. She also enjoys designing stage sets and costumes for local theatres. In addition, she is a licensed wedding officiant in Virginia. Moving forward, Dr. Walker really wants to be doing absolutely nothing that she doesn’t choose to do at the moment. Her family travels a lot and she wants to be in a position to make the decision at the spur of the moment, as well as act on it freely and willingly. Additionally, she and her husband have recently been featured in local commercials in her area. All writers, creators, designers and people who create worth and beauty are her inspiration.