Lauren Curtis, a former softball coach at the University of Central Missouri, has traded her athletic roster for a student roster, joining Team Broncos at Austin Middle School. 

The shift from the field to the classroom was an easy decision for Lauren. 

“I love seeing the light bulb go off when someone has been trying to learn a new skill and then it clicks. I love being part of that process, watching the growth,” she says. “I started by working sports camps when I was in college and then teaching and coaching in college. Teaching and coaching provides me the chance to combine my passions of sports, reading and writing.”

As an English inclusion teacher and a coach, Lauren is getting the best of both worlds.

Just shy of a month, Lauren uprooted her family – a husband and two young children – 500 miles away from their home in Missouri to Texas. Now add into the mix that she’s a first-year teacher and beginning her new career in the middle of a pandemic. Most people would have already waved the white flag, but not Lauren. She’s ready for the challenge and credits her perseverance to coaching. 

“Coaching softball taught me to over prepare, prepare for the unexpected and be flexible. You have to be ready to change your plans at a moment’s notice,” she says. “There are a lot of similarities, too, in the daily planning, having routines and procedures, keeping your athletes engaged, making it fun and building relationships.”

Her attitude is just one of the many reasons she secured a spot at Austin Middle School. Principal Dr. Channa Barrett is very excited to welcome Lauren to the team. 

“Mrs. Curtis is a great addition to Austin Middle School,” Dr. Barrett says. “She brings excitement, passion and a willingness to learn! Additionally, she has a collegiate coaching background that will benefit our students inside and outside of the classroom.”

This school year, Lauren will join close to 300 first-year teachers as they welcome their students remotely on August 17. Although this will be Lauren’s first year greeting students from the classroom, she’s ready for it. After all, she’s proven to be a game changer!