Payson Grad Returns To Phs As Coach, Teacher

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When first year Payson High School Life Science teacher and coach Austin White teaches a unit on animal husbandry this school year, he'll do so having had hands on experience.

"I've had to pull about 20 calves and birth three others while running the family farm the past three years," he said. "I learned a lot about biology on the farm."

The farm is located in Bancroft, Idaho where White also taught kindergarten when not harvesting hay, planting crops and caring for livestock.

Last spring, White returned to Payson and assumed his former job as a manager, lifeguard and swim instructor at Taylor Pool.

White is no stranger to the pool -- he learned to swim there and was once a member of the Payson Pikes swim team.

Early in the summer, his goal was to find a job at Sea World in San Diego, but when the opportunity arose to return to his alma mater as a teacher and head boys soccer coach, he took it.

A 1996 Payson High School graduate, White starred in basketball, was an honor student and a student body leader.

After graduation from PHS he attended Brigham Young University in Hawaii and served an internship in the Honolulu Center for Deaf and Blind.

"I was a lifeguard there and that was a challenging experience," he said. "Lifeguards don't use whistles; they use tennis balls.

"If you want someone's attention, you throw tennis balls at them."

White believes the experiences he acquired there, along with those working the family farm, have him ready to meet the challenges of teaching and coaching.

"I've done a lot of things since I left (PHS), so I think I'll be okay," he said. "Plus, I think kids need a teacher they can relate to and I can be that person."

While teaching and coaching, White will continue his post graduate education, taking classes at the University of Phoenix.

"I think I'll be traveling that road to (Phoenix) and back," quite a few times," he said.

As the Longhorn soccer coach, he'll replace Roger Wholly whose contract was not renewed last year.

On the team, White will have several seasoned players to call upon for leadership including Shane Tuer, Brandon Moratti, Nate Doyle and David Hernandez.

The challenges of excelling on the playing field will be nothing new for White. He grew up the youngest of five children who all were standout athletes at Payson High School.

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