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Versatile Watson juggles many roles as teacher, adviser, coach, leader

Lindsey Plotkin

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Math teacher, StuCo adviser becomes head girls soccer coach  

Watson oversees the homecoming sales table at lunch today in the main hallway. Photo by Abby Robison.

Most every McCallum student knows who Mrs. Watson is. Some people know her as their soccer coach, others as their math teacher; she is a student council adviser to some, and a leader of the McCallum Christian Community for others. In this way Mrs. Watson, formerly known as Ms. Stanley, is known by many on campus for everything she participates in.

“We tell students to participate in activities, and that will make them love McCallum, and I feel like it is the same for teachers.” Mrs. Watson said, “If I didn’t do so much, I wouldn’t enjoy teaching as much, and I wouldn’t have the same connection with my students.”

Mrs. Watson is the girls soccer coach, a Pre-AP Geometry and Pre-AP Precalculus teacher, as well as being a student council adviser and the leader of the McCallum Christian Community. While she has no regrets about leading so many activities, she says that it can be stressful to have so many balls in the air.

“Sometimes I feel like teaching is the least of my worries,” Watson said. “I often feel like I am prepared for class, but I am worried for practice. Homecoming is also coming up, and that is a big responsibility to take care of.”

Those students who only have her as a math teacher praise Watson’s talent as a teacher and her commitment to her student’s achievements.

“She is a really good teacher, and she will help you even if you are not her student,” freshman Molly Odland said. “She is a teacher who truly wants you to succeed.”

Back when her name was Ms. Stanley, Mrs. Watson was a finalist for 2016 Teacher of the Year along with Ms. Northcutt and Ms. Rigby, who won that year. Photo by Dave Winter.

Other students who work with Watson in the classroom and in extracurriculars say Watson is equally involved in both arenas.

“I see her at MCC, soccer and for geometry and I like it because she is good at everything she does,” freshman Lily Morales said. “I guess it is kind of weird, but it is fun. She is a great teacher and coach, and just a great person to look up to.”

Junior Ellie Stites says that her favorite qualities about Mrs. Watson are that she works really hard to make sure everyone is on the same page, in class and on the field.

While helping to set up the 2016 Mac prom, the former Ms. Stanley descends the staircase at the Blanton Museum. Photo by Grace Brady.

“She is really approachable as a teacher and a coach, which I think is her best quality,” Stites said.

Recently, Mrs. Watson became the head soccer coach, taking over the responsibility from Coach Nancy Honeycutt Searles.

“I feel more responsibility to be prepared for class and for practice,” Watson said. “There were a lot of small details that I didn’t realize being the assistant coach. I just showed up and had fun.”

Coach Searles has offered her help, showing Mrs. Watson how to order equipment and getting the schedule set. Because the girls soccer program does not receive that much funding, Mrs. Watson organizes many fundraisers. On football game days during lunch and during the game itself, a few members of the team will meet to sell McCallum temporary tattoos. At the beginning of the season, the girls will also take part in a juggle-a-thon, getting pledges from anyone that is willing to pay for them to help girls soccer. Participating in the fundraisers helps the team buy real soccer socks that will last each player the entire season. Having real soccer socks is a big deal to many returning players because in previous years, the girls have worn softball socks, baseball socks, or tube socks, that don’t last for the entire season.

While she has a reputation or running lots of extracurricular activities, Watson is also known as an innovative and dedicated classroom teacher. Photo by Delaney Carter.

Many of the girls who will try out for the team are already in the soccer class, where the girls do numerous activities to prepare for the season. On Tuesdays, the girls go outside and do drills for dribbling, passing, shooting, one-on-one defense  and small-sided scrimmages. On Thursdays, the class goes into the weight room to build muscle and help prevent muscle injury, and on Friday, the girls run the same number of sprints as the total number of classes students in the class are failing. Mrs. Watson uses the sprints to provide motivation for the girls to get their work done and to keep their grades up so that everyone can play during the season.

As the soccer season approaches, Mrs. Watson has set her goals for this coming season: beating LBJ, Anderson and Austin High. She would also like for the team to win their playoff game this season. Mrs. Watson says that some of her favorite memories from soccer are beating LBJ, playing in an Akins tournament last year where it was 19 degrees all weekend and playing the playoff game at Dripping Springs in a huge stadium. Mrs. Watson says that she is looking forward to the bus rides filled with loud music and dancing, where she sees the girls come together as a team and get excited to play.

“I am always looking forward to beating LBJ, because we beat them last year, and we are going to beat them this year,” Watson boldly predicted.

Whether its the student council elections, homecoming or the prom, Watson can usually be found front and center. Photo by Gregory James.

Mrs. Watson says that she has no regrets about leading so much.

“Being overly involved is the best way to make teaching fulfilling.” Watson said.

While she confessed that she often feels like she has too much to do and not enough time, she also says that she is the type of person that thrives on being busy.

“I often feel like I have a lot going on, but being involved in everything makes me feel more connected to my students,” she said. “The ones that participate in everything with me become my go-to people, and those are the people that make me sad when they graduate.”

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Versatile Watson juggles many roles as teacher, adviser, coach, leader