Student to Teacher: 2015 Graduate, Katherine Timmons, Discusses Return to HSE

Emily Crousore

Almost 5 years after graduation, HSE reentered Katherine Timmons’s life. At the start of the 2020-2021 school year English teacher, Asa Suriano, took a medical leave of absence in order to stay safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon after, the HSE and University of Alabama graduate, Katherine Timmons, found herself in a both thrilling and terrifying situation.

“There were certainly days where I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water,” Timmons said. “I loved my English classes as a student, but I wasn’t sure I really had any idea of how to be a teacher.”

With the help of fellow English teachers Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Bakle and Mrs. McGrath, Timmons quickly got the hang of the things. Things that were once stressful, she soon found herself enjoying.

“I would be truly remiss not to thank the wonderful teachers I get to teach with who answered all my questions, listened to all my concerns, and held my hand through being a first year teacher,” Timmons said. “It might sound cheesy, but I quite literally could not do it without them.”

As well as new responsibilities, Timmons is also taking in all the new changes that have occurred at HSE while she was gone. With new technology and a whole new side of the building Timmons reminisces on what HSE was like when she was here.

“Lockers used to be full of actual, physical textbooks and students definitely did not have the laptops,” Timmons said. “We had to actually go to computer labs to type papers.”

With her knowledge of once being an HSE student, Timmons hopes to have an impact on the students in her classes. Especially in a time where students are overwhelmed and coping with the loss of things they had been looking forward to their whole childhood, Timmons feels it is important to truly create a bond with the kids in her classroom.

“I have told many of my students that my biggest hope is to be a soft spot for them to land, and to always remind them that it is okay to be a human being first, and an English student second,” Timmons said. “I hope to create an environment where those things are the priority, and I wholeheartedly believe that the learning will then follow naturally.

With a semester already under her belt, Timmons is excited to see what the next chapter of her life at HSE has in store for her. Story by Emily Crousore.