For the past thirty-one years (fifteen at Midlothian), English teacher Mrs. Sharon Austin has shared her wisdom and enthusiasm with countless students. She currently teaches Dual Enrollment College Composition and Dual Enrollment British & American Literature, guiding her students to grow into talented young writers and inquisitive thinkers. She also has contributed much of her time to Midlo’s Spirit Club. As the school year closes, Mrs. Austin will say goodbye to teaching, as she enters retirement.
When and how did you decide to pursue teaching English?
In my freshman year at the University of Maryland, I realized that many of the subjects that I loved all intersected in the study of English: linguistics, psychology, history, sociology.
What does Midlothian High School mean to you?
Midlothian is a place of high expectations for teachers, students, parents, and administrators. Everyone who works here is highly professional and compassionate. The combination of those traits makes for a unique and successful school.
What is your fondest memory of Midlothian High School?
I have so many. I loved working with my students this year to create podcasts. I loved the Hunger Games club that students created and baked cakes for meeting celebrations. I loved helping students win scholarships and succeed in tackling argumentative essays.
What will you miss about teaching?
That is an easy question to answer. I will miss the relationship with my students and opportunity to be creative and engaged in an endeavor greater than myself.
What won’t you miss about teaching?
I won’t miss waking up at 5:00 AM.
The Midlothian community will sorely miss Mrs. Austin’s expertise and poise in the classroom. Several students and colleagues shared their thoughts on Mrs. Austin’s retirement.
“Mrs. Austin is an incredible instructional leader in our school. She is brilliant and creative, and the impact she has on her students and colleagues has been transformative and so appreciated.”
– Mrs. Melissa Hill
“Mrs. Austin is a great teacher. She has greatly improved my writing capabilities in the last two years I have been in her class. I’m so glad I took her classes because I feel very prepared for college from everything she has taught me in high school.”
– Luke Manheim
“She really pushes her students. She is tough and fair and fabulous.”
– Ms. Allison Crerie
“She’s so knowledgeable and always has something to teach us. I always feel like I’ve learned something when I leave her class.”
– Helen Trout
“We will miss Mrs. Austin terribly in the English Department. Not only is she brilliant, but her creativity, enthusiasm, and curiosity for learning are unsurpassed. Over the years, she has shared wonderful ideas and fresh insight with me, allowing me to see topics from a completely different light. I am a better teacher because of Mrs. Austin’s influence.”
-Mrs. Jackie Tully