By: Hayden Schmidt
When walking down the 400 Hallway in between classes, you most certainly have seen a bright and smiling teacher standing outside her classroom. To those who don’t have her class, she may appear to be like any other teacher, but to her students she is one of the most caring and serious teachers they’ve had. Mrs. Bast is the Precalculus and AP Calculus teacher here at PHS, and she takes that job with an incredible level of respect.
Mrs. Bast was born in Kansas, but moved to Pleasanton when she was seven years old. She attended and graduated from our very own Pleasanton High School, and decided to attend UTSA to receive her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Mrs. Bast never planned on being a teacher, but the role seemed to fall right into her lap. Once she completed her bachelor’s degree, NASA offered to fund her master’s degree, with the criteria that she continued research for them and taught a class for them as a Measurements and Instrumentation instructor. She said she was “… lucky enough to, as an undergrad, work on a NASA grant.” During this time, she realized that she truly enjoyed teaching. “I’m teaching college students who were working towards their bachelor’s, and I received really good reviews from them, which made me feel really good. It hadn’t been too long since I was in their shoes, and I remember things not being explained well enough, so I made sure I did the job I would have wanted my professor to do.”
After working with NASA and teaching at UTSA over a twelve year span, she was offered a job at Pleasanton Junior High as a math teacher and decided to take it. She explained, “I didn’t want to miss out on my kids growing up. I realized how much time had already passed and how much time being at UTSA was taking up, and so I wanted to be able to be with them their last few years.”
Mrs. Bast loves teaching here for many reasons. The biggest is that she remembers struggling at first when she went into the engineering program. “I just really enjoy giving the local kids a chance to learn math at the level they’re going to need, and hopefully having an easier time than I did.” When asked what advice she would give students, she said, “Follow your heart, follow your passion, and be true to yourself.”
Mrs. Bast is an incredible teacher and a wonderful person, and her efforts to better her students will leave a lasting impression on them for the rest of their lives.