Ausburn amazes – alumni Abby Ausburn returns to teach English at K-Park


Kylee Wing

English teacher Abby Ausburn talks to her students.

Kylee Wing, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Former student teacher Abby Ausburn strides from student to student in Room 1612, which is lined with bookshelves and accompanied by a sweet cinnamon smell.

After getting a taste of what it was like to teach at K-Park she’s back in the classroom, but this time it was her own.

“I knew she would be a great addition to our school and school culture,” said Michelle Neel, Auburn’s mentor last year, who recalled watching as she  gained confidence and learned her way around a classroom.

Ausburn and Neel worked closely together planning and devising ideas for lessons, says Neel, who grew to see the younger teacher as a “new friend and a valued colleague.”

The idea of becoming a teacher was never far from Auburn’s thoughts as she was growing up. But the spark really went off when her ninth grade English teacher, Deirdre Himel, encouraged her to pursue an education career after seeing something unique in her writing.

As Ausburn minored in secondary education at Sam Houston State University, she dreamed of her first day of teaching, which came this year on Aug. 24.

“The first day of school was the most exciting,” Ausburn said. “It was very surreal for me — I’ve thought about what my first day of teaching would be like for years now, and it was amazing when it finally arrived.”

Each day since the first has been an adventure, figuring out tips and tricks and bonding with students and teachers.

“Every day is a new day that brings new and exciting challenges,” she said.

Some of her daily  challenges include making new assignments, editing tests and just simply realizing how much there is to do, but she quickly found her way through the ropes.

“Teachers do so much and make many decisions every day,” Ausburn said. “It can be overwhelming at times, but I have great students and the other teachers here have been super helpful and supportive”

Her mentor, Cathey Buck, sees the enthusiasm Ausburn has not only for education but for her daily life.

“I’m mostly a listening ear if she has any questions,” Buck said. “I really don’t have to motivate her. Her enthusiasm motivates me.”

This year,  Ausburn has found mentors and has also made her place within the English department, becoming fast friends with her colleague Caryn Rasberry.

Not only did they bond through teaching, they have the same style for fashion and even shop together.

“She has a great sense of fashion,”said Rasberry, who teaches English II and dual credit.

During pep rallies, Ausburn stands in the gymnasium, eyes filling with tears as she sings “But none can ever take away the bonds we build at Kingwood Park.” She has said the words many many times before, but now sings it with students of her own.

“It’s an incredible experience to watch my students making memories in a place that holds so many wonderful memories for me,” Ausburn said. “It is really rewarding and fulfilling to be a part of the KP family again.”