Culture shock was a big part of Deborah Hightshue’s first year at Edinburgh Community High School: She was making the transition from teaching university students in France to teaching American middle and high school students.
More than 40 years ago, Hightshue was in Europe, teaching through a fellowship she received from the University of Illinois, when she started applying for jobs back in America. She’d heard that jobs for teachers were scarce and that she needed to apply while she was still overseas, meaning she knew almost nothing about the school districts she was applying to.
The first application Hightshue mailed was to Edinburgh. The school district quickly hired her, and she’s spent the past 41 years teaching French and English at the high school. Hightshue also coached the high school’s English Academic Super Bowl Team, which won the championship in its division at this year’s state competition.