Switching Desks

Allen High Alumni are back again, but this time in the teacher’s chair.

Stephanie Scarano, Staff writer

When most people leave high school, they never dream of going back. But, there are some Allen High alumni who are back again; this time they are in the teacher’s chair.


AP U.S. history teacher Lauren Gaskill is one of those teachers. Gaskill graduated in 2012 and has been back at Allen High for two years now.


The pride in the school is the same, everyone here is so proud to be an Allen Eagle,” Gaskill said. “That hasn’t changed.”


Something has to prompt a person to go back to high school, especially their own. For Gaskill, AHS provided a stable working environment in her home in Dallas.


“I didn’t feel like I was being supported [at other districts],” Gaskill said. “I didn’t have a team effort and a good structure, and I knew this was a place where I would be well supported. You’re not a man on an island, you’ve got lots of people around, supporting you to be the best that you can.”


Allen ISD has been educating since 1910, and in that time, many teachers have noticed changes taking place through the years. From the change of the original high school to becoming a freshman center, to a whole new high school being built, Allen has seen some changes, but if one thing hasn’t changed; Gaskill and McDermott agree it’s the school spirit.  


“Overall, high school was a great time for me,” McDermott said. “I felt like a part of something that was bigger than myself.”


Chemistry teacher Matthew McDermott also attended Allen High and attributes his start to his alma mater. Although the teacher’s chair is a bit different from the student desk, the opportunities it offers to help in the classroom are great.


“It definitely takes some getting used to, but it’s great to be able to come to work and know that you’re helping to shape the future,” McDermott said.


Some teachers even take their high school experiences with them to make their time teaching easier.


“I was so thankful that [Allen High] had made me into a well-rounded individual and not someone who just focused on present tense” Gaskill said. “[Allen High] prepared me for a really positive future.”