Coming Home

Mrs. Karen Lopez and Ms. Dawn Keane-Dawes are two teachers of many who were former students who returned to Judson as teachers.

Denise Bosquez

More stories from Denise Bosquez

Review: Friend Request
September 25, 2017
Review: Cuco
September 8, 2017

Photo By: Claudia Quiroz

Walking through the halls as a student in high school, one may never think you’ll have a career at the same place that you graduated.

However, Mrs. Karen Lopez is a Rocket graduate, class of 1979, and Mrs. Dawn Keane-Dawes is a graduate, class of 1985.

Lopez, a geometry teacher, was influenced by her favorite math teachers. She wanted to engage with her students the way she remembers her teachers doing for her. When returning to teach, Lopez hoped to give her students the education she received when she was in their shoes.

“I had such good teachers and wanted to follow in their footsteps,” Lopez said. “I wanted to be able to do for kids what my teachers did for me.”

A lot has changed since Lopez graduated in the 70s. She shares that technology has drastically grown since she was a student herself. It has changed the way teachers teach and how the students learn.

“There’s been a whole new world opened up,” Lopez said. “We didn’t have computers, not even calculators. We’ve seem to have lost the art of learning because it’s so accessible, so quickly.”

Lopez has taught at other high schools. Teaching is just teaching – it’s the same performance. However, there’s something different about teaching where you graduated.

“It’s like coming back home and wanting to be back in the same place I started,” Lopez said.

IMG_7009Keane-Dawes, economics teacher, graduated with the Judson class of 1985. As a student, Keane-Dawes played varsity basketball and shared strong Rocket Pride with her classmates, attending prep rallies and football games. Besides her love for Rocket Pride, Keane-Dawes felt she was surrounded by adults who were impacting her in a positive way, as well as her classmates, all of which is why she decided to return.

“We really supported each other as a student body,” Keane-Dawes said. “We just loved our faculty. This is what made me want to come back.”

Keane-Dawes has watch opportunities get bigger and better for the students, some that they didn’t offer when she was a student. Finding a place to belong is hard to do in such a huge campus with a wide range of different lifestyles. But as the years go by, Keane-Dawes believes the school is offering more open doors for students to find where that place is.

“I’m seeing more opportunities for students to belong,” Keane-Dawes said. “The diversity of Judson High School is one of the most positive aspects.”

Many students have a mindset of going through high school and saying goodbye after four years. But for Lopez and Keane-Dawes, high school was a life changing experience, not a four year stay. They not only think of it as their high school, but as their home and where they feel belonged.