Meet the State Board Member: Barb Stiger

Barb Stiger
Problem 3: Classics – State Problem Captain

At the 2023 World Finals, Barb (right) poses with OMER and Tracy, a judge from Michigan. (Photo by: Amy Owens)

For our state Classics problem captain Barb, her Odyssey started about 30 years ago, when she first helped coach her son’s Loyalsock Township team in 1994.

“I see how Odyssey of the Mind benefits all children,” says Barb, who was a kindergarten and first grade teacher for 35 years. “Some of the creativity I have seen from teams is truly amazing and will stay in my mind forever!”

Barb’s experience coaching from 1994 to 2004 has led to decades of giving back to PA Odyssey of the Mind.

Barb serves as a problem captain in her home North Central region, where she’s also volunteered with spontaneous fairs and judged the primary problem. As a state problem captain, Barb attends International Problem Captain (IPC) trainings to pass the knowledge along to officials across PA. Leading up to running the show at State Finals, she stays in contact with judges and gets her competition sites ready. She also attends state board meetings throughout the year and serves on our Line Mountain Scholarship committee.

Those momentous years in the 90s not only led Barb to decades of serving our students. They also led her son Garrett to create the “Odyssey” documentary, which he co-produced with his wife and former teammate, Alyssa.

“My son is married to one of his high school team members,” Barb says, “so you could say Odyssey of the Mind gave me a daughter-in-law.”

The Stiger family’s impact on the international stage keeps going further: Barb has been a World Finals judge for problem 3, division I for several years – including as head judge.

“Judging at World Finals, I have an ‘Odyssey family’ from all over the USA and several other countries,” Barb says.

With all her experience, what’s Barb’s expert opinion on how to succeed at Odyssey of the Mind?

“Consider your first year a learning experience,” Barb says. “Make sure you read the Program Guide, clarifications, and where the points are on scoring. If you don’t understand something in the problem, don’t hesitate to send in a private clarification.”

In her free time, Barb gets a 10 out of 10 for style. She enjoys crafts including knitting, gardening, creating glass mosaics, and sewing. Her skills have even come in handy weaving baskets and creating quilts for our State Finals raffles!

Barb can be reached at

Thank you for everything you do to bring Odyssey of the Mind to thousands of students across the state of Pennsylvania, Barb!