Courthouse to Classroom: Rawson Offers Fresh Perspectives

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Upper School English teacher Warren Rawson’s background as a law clerk strongly influences his goals as a teacher. Teaching at SJS for the first time this year, Rawson hopes to instill in his students the same disciplined thinking required as a lawyer.

Warren Rawson brings his unique experiences from the courthouse to the SJS classroom.

“[Working as a lawyer] was great because it was all about disciplined thinking, which is the same thing as teaching English,” Rawson said. “What I try to do in class is teach students to do the job I did as a law clerk.”

Rawson left the Kinkaid School after 12 years to teach sophomore and junior English at SJS. Rawson sought a change in scenery as well as an easier commute.

After graduating high school, Rawson attended the University of Texas, earning a Bachelor’s degree in History.

“When I got out of college, I didn’t really know what to do,” Rawson said. “I did well on the LSAT, so I went to law school not really knowing what that meant.”

After attending law school at Washington and Lee University, Rawson worked as a clerk for a bankruptcy judge.

“It was a great job, but it was term limited, so it was only for a year. You’re basically a judge’s assistant, so I would draft the opinions,” Rawson said.

After his term as a clerk ended, Rawson attended graduate school at University of Houston (UH) to earn his English doctorate.

“While I was in grad school at UH, a friend of mine was working part time at Kinkaid and said that there was a full time job available, so I took it,” Rawson said. “I was very lucky they hired me.”

For Rawson, teaching was an obvious choice.

“Teaching ran in the family. I have always liked the idea of school as well as being around school,” Rawson said.

Growing up in the small, East Texas town of Orange, Rawson is the son of two high school teachers — his father was the principal, and his mother taught home economics.

“My school at the time had about twice the number of students as SJS, but it was very ‘country,’ ” Rawson said. “We didn’t have school on first day of deer season; I had friends who would go home at lunch to feed the pigs, stuff like that.”

 Rawson taught at Kinkaid starting in ‘99 and continued teaching there until he transferred to SJS.

“Ms. Hagerty said at one of the new faculty events that SJS allows her to be an idealist because it allows her to think of how things could be for everybody, and I think I am like that too,” Rawson said.

Sophomore Drew Guillory said, “I really like his class. It is very open and conducive to conversation, and I am really enjoying this year.”

“The kids here are extremely nice and supportive and totally willing to help me out,” Rawson said. “It has been great so far.”

Christopher Zimmerman
Staff Writer

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