Student teaching partners

Sarah Bausell and Luis Castro (below) are working together to teach Hillside English students this semester (Photo by Deshauna Cook)

By Deshauna Cook
the Hillside Chronicle
Hillside High School

Hillside English teacher Sarah Bausell, who has been teaching for nine years, has formed a partnership this semester with Luis Castro, a student teacher who is entering the classroom after decades of work in other fields.

Bausell taught at High Point Central High School, Mary Knoll High School in Hawaii, Southern Durham High School and Holland High School in England.

Bausell has been teaching at Hillside High School for four years now. Castro is her second student teacher.

“I think it’s the most demanding and honorable lifestyle I could imagine, and I take my job very seriously,” Bausell said. Advising another teacher forces her to think about all the things she does naturally in the classroom and to reflect on useful strategies.

“It’s like teaching on another level,” Bausell explained.

Bausell has earned National Board Certification. She also has a master’s degree in curriculum development from the University of Hawaii.

Bausell stated, “It is exciting to watch Mr. Castro develop as a teacher, but I love teaching and jump at any opportunity to facilitate the class.”

Bausell said that she most of all likes reading students’ writing. Teaching has made her a more direct, empathetic and organized person.

“I like everything about teaching: the excitement, personalities, watching people grow, taking it step-by-step and remembering that student’s learning is the primary goal,” Bausell said.

Castro was the first in his family to attend college. He started taking college courses in 1970. He eventually earned a degree from UNC, and he then was accepted into the Duke UniversityMaster of Arts in Teaching program.

“The masters of teaching program at Duke became my priority because it would be my gateway to becoming an educator, and it’s why I am here at Hillside,” Castro explained.

“My inspiration to grab hold once again of my dream to complete my university degree and become a teacher came from the late professor Randy Pausch about four years ago,” Castro added.

“I grew up in New York City at a time when, despite the ever present racism, the city seemed more diversified in a certain sense,” he said. “Poor and working class people appeared to come in all colors, and at least in my early childhood, I grew up and learned from a multitude of cultures: Irish, Italians, Jewish, Greeks, African Americans, Asian Americans, Puerto Ricans, etc.”

As early as eighth grade Castro became interested in the Civil Rights movement. Later in life, he participated in the movement, looking to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X for inspiration.

“My biggest goal is to be the very best teacher possible to my students, inspiring them to grow in intelligence, knowledge and wisdom by becoming lifelong learners, and as a result experience lifetime success,” Castro said.

“I have learned from my parents the great value there is in having an education and becoming a lifelong learner.”