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Leadership Corner: Spotlight on Ms. Austin

Special to The Oak Leaf
By Pravash Guatam

Ms. Austin greets her students with a smile. Photo by Samantha Dunn
Ms. Austin greets her students with a smile.
Photo by Samantha Dunn

Ever since Kathleen Austin was a kid, she wanted to become a teacher. She displayed these characteristics when she used to pretend to “teach” her brother and sister, assigning them work and homework.

Austin decided not to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher due to her fear of not making enough money.  Instead she decided to be a probation officer.  As a probation officer she realized that “you have to do what you want to do” in order to be happy.

Guided by her own realization, she left her probation officer job after 10 years and pursued her career as a teacher–first at an elementary and middle school and finally at Alameda High.

Austin has been a teacher at AHS for nine years, dividing her time between Current Life Issues, Physical Education and Leadership.

Austin’s passion for teaching is apparent in the hours she puts in before and after school for Leadership events or for zero period.

From teaching students, Austin says she has also learned a lot about herself. From the daily interaction she has with her students she has learned the importance of having patience. She says “working with adolescents everyday requires a lot of patience,” as teenagers are eager to do what they like and procrastinate on the things they don’t.

She also observed that kids are a lot nicer than adults perceive them to be, because adults often do not get a chance to see what is under the surface. Austin says she sees her job as a privilege.

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