Jo Huntsinger and Charlotte Lauts return from retirement to teach



Teachers Jo Huntsinger and Charlie Lauts stand together after the May senior celebration “Celebrate the Date,” marking what would have been graduation night. The teachers retired in May but have returned to substitute teach this fall.

By Tony Racy, Co-Online Editor in Chief

Jo Huntsinger and Charlotte Lauts returned to LHS as substitute teachers in October after both retiring last year.

Lauts returns to teach several engineering and architecture classes, the same classes she taught before. 

“I retired after 33 years at Lawrence High School simply to collect retirement and then find another job,” Lauts said. “You don’t have a lot of chances to save money on a teacher’s salary, so I had to retire so I could have two incomes and hopefully save some money for when my husband and I are really retired.”

Choosing to return wasn’t a hard decision for Lauts.

“Teaching has so many positives,” Lauts said. “Imagine after 33 years of teaching how many students I have had. I think about how so many of them are still in my life. I love the connection I get to have with students because I can have them year after year if they continue with the path in my class for their future. The teachers here at Lawrence High are absolutely the best and working with them and seeing what they do every day really makes you want to be as good as them. They are true role models for me and I hope the students here see that they are top-notch and care so much about all students.”

Lauts, who also works part-time at Peaslee Tech Training Center, was able to do both jobs without conflict.

“I would not do it if it wouldn’t work with my other job. I really enjoy working at Peaslee Tech, but I also know there was a need for me to be back here,” Lauts said. “They were very understanding of me wanting to help out with the classes at Lawrence High, and I am going to work both jobs with LHS being the priority for a few weeks.”

Huntsinger is challenged with teaching a subject she hasn’t taught after retiring from teaching human anatomy, physiology and human biology. Interim principal Cynthia Johnson reached out and asked her to return.

“Dr. Johnson called and said that it is extremely difficult to find substitute teachers during a global pandemic,” Huntsinger said. “I knew she was desperate if she was asking me to fill in for physics. I love Lawrence High School and am happy to fill in temporarily until a suitable physics teacher can be found. I wasn’t bored in retirement at all. I just felt that this was the right thing for me to do.”

Huntsinger retired last year after a long career of teaching.

“The connections you make with students and staff in this building are by far the best part of teaching at Lawrence High School,” Huntsinger said, “It has been so good to see everyone again.”

Other teachers find it pleasant to see them return as well, such as health teacher and volleyball coach Stephanie Scarborough. 

“If there is something more than over the moon happy, that is what I would be,” Scarborough said of her feelings.

Both Lauts and Huntsinger are held in high regard by other teachers.

“They are genuine, caring individuals,” Scarborough said. “I have known both since I was here in high school, and I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for both of them. Coach Huntsinger is probably the coach I learned the most from and continue to learn from. My respect for them has turned into a valued friendship.  Just having them in the building makes things feel a bit closer to normal.”