Austin is originally from Alaska, where he became interested in education teaching adult ESL classes, and worked as a substitute for K–12 with the Anchorage School District. In Washington, he coordinated after-school programs for Sylvester Middle School in Burien, and in 2013 he joined the Meridian community as a member of the Summer Quest program. He has also served as an Extended Day staff member, student aide, and first grade associate faculty and lead faculty. Austin values creativity and compassion and believes they are essential components of learning environments. He is a clay artist, a soccer player, and a lover of wild places and outdoor recreation.