Brother duos return to hometown school districts
By Michelle Rayburn
CENTRAL WISCONSIN – Brothers Justin and Jordan Rayburn are teachers and coaches at their alma mater, Pittsville High School. Two hours northwest, their first cousins, brothers Dallas and Austin Rayburn, will teach together for the first time at their alma mater, New Auburn High School.
The four once attended school together in Pittsville before one of the families moved north.
After teaching in other Wisconsin districts, all four Rayburns have gradually returned home to teach the next generation in the familiar halls of the districts where they attended high school.
Justin Rayburn teaches physical education and health in Pittsville.
“I always enjoyed my time as a student at Pittsville. I wasn’t one of those kids who looked forward to being done with school because I knew it meant I was saying goodbye to many friends and teachers I enjoyed being around. Being able to come back to Pittsville gives me the chance to make other kids’ high school experience as good as mine was,” he said.
His brother, Jordan Rayburn, is a business and information technology teacher in the town of just over 800 residents.
“Coming back to teach at Pittsville means a lot to me; the community is one that has always embraced my family. I like that everyone knows everyone here, and the town is like family,” he said.
The Pittsville Rayburn brothers play on the Pittsville River Bandits amateur baseball team and collaborate as coaches in an array of sports.
“My brother and I always got along. Now that we are teaching together, it’s nice having the person you trust the most as a co-worker. Jordan and I also grew up watching, playing, and learning the game of baseball together. Being able to now coach together has been a great experience,” Justin explained.
It’s been 10 years since their cousins, Dallas and Austin Rayburn, occupied the halls of New Auburn High School and played trombone side-by-side in the pep band. Both graduated as valedictorian of their class, in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
Dallas is starting his third year as high school English teacher in New Auburn, as Austin begins his first year as technology education teacher in the same district.
While miles separate the brothers, the Rayburn men all share a love for small town, a sense of connection to the people in their communities, as well as a strong drive in the education system.