ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Bob AussantAt the core of Bob Aussant's educational philosophy was a very simple maxim: Treat young adults with respect and show them that you care, and they will reciprocate. This belief served him well during his 37 years as a teacher, coach and advisor at North Attleboro High School.
Excellence in Education
Mr. Aussant joined the NAHS faculty in the fall of 1969, fresh out of Central Connecticut State University, where he had earned his B.S. in Biology after graduating from Attleboro HS ('64). He immediately immersed himself in the North High culture as a science teacher and track coach. One of Coach Aussant's first star athletes was a talented sprinter and high jumper named Dwight Estey, whom we are also honoring tonight.
The atmosphere in Mr. Aussant's Biology, Earth Science and Human Anatomy and Physiology classroom was friendly and respectful. He communicated high expectations, delivered expert lessons and managed his classroom in a low-key manner that cultivated students' interest in science. Mr. Aussant's ability to clarify even the most complex workings of the human body was one reason he earned the nickname "Mr. Anatomy." He stated: "I wanted to give my students the best possible science education with the resources available at NAHS." He also noted that he "found the last few minutes of the class, when you are winding down, was an important time to just listen to the students talk with each other and with me. You learn a great deal by listening and showing you care how they feel and believe what they have to say is important." Also, from 2001-2005 Mr. Aussant served as Science Department Head in addition to succeeding Mr. Reimer as Director of A-V services for nearly ten years.
Bob Aussant remained involved in extracurricular activities throughout his career. According to assistant Charlie Ayotte, Coach Aussant was a patient teacher who never lost his composure during his years coaching Boys Cross Country, Indoor Track and Spring Track. "You could have had a kid stabbed in the calf by a flying javelin in the middle of a meet and Auss would stay calm." Coach Aussant also served two years on the sideline as Freshman Football coach, working one year with another of tonight's honorees, Rick Smith. In addition, Mr. Aussant helped guide several classes through their four year at NAHS. He was advisor to both his son Terrance and daughter Nicole's classes, finishing with the class of 2005. "Being a class advisor for many years gave me the opportunity to attend many proms. I was always very proud of the students when, at the end of the evening, the manager of the function hall would approach the advisors and acknowledge how well-behaved the students were and extend an invitation for NAHS to 'please come back'."
Mr. Aussant was proud of his association with North High. He "always felt the students and parents of NAHS were very fortunate to have a dedicated group of professionals for their children." He also remembers fondly the early days of his career when the predominantly young faculty was involved in faculty-student softball and volleyball and the teaching staff "always seemed to have an excuse for a party. They were great times that formed strong bonds among the faculty."
In recognition of his many years of commitment to North Attleboro HS, the Class of 1989 dedicated its yearbook to Mr. Aussant, thanking him "for his years of fine teaching, his encouragement to all class members and his extra hours of guidance and help." In a recent moment of reflection about his career, Mr. Aussant wrote: "I tried to be fair, honest and thoughtful to my students and give them the best possible education I could." Every indication is that he succeeded.
Bob Aussant is enjoying retirement with his wife, Anne, a teacher at Falls School, his daughter Nicole (Aussant) Delguidice ('89) and sons Dr. Terrance Aussant ('94), and Kyle Aussant.
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