Teacher Profile: Emily Petrik

Teacher Profile: Emily Petrik

Ms. Petrik is a Spanish teacher at Helena High, and her enthusiasm for the subject is contagious.Ms. Petrik teaches Spanish 1 through 4, I can personally say she’s an awesome Spanish teacher.

 Although Spanish is now her passion, it wasn’t always that way. “I was thinking about teaching elementary, but I really was passionate about Spanish. I took this math class I was supposed to have for elementary education… I was falling behind in this online math course, so I decided I was not going to continue with this terrible math course. I said ‘I think I’m going to change my major to teaching Spanish’ where I didn’t need the math course,” Petrik said.

Petrik grew up in Minot, North Dakota, a town of 40,888, but attended high school in Bismarck, North Dakota. “I became interested in Spanish in high school. I was a terrible Spanish student, and I didn’t like it. I had a teacher named Mr. Archeledo, who was an older gentleman; he was fun and nice but I was just terrible at Spanish,” Petrik said.

 Petrik continued taking Spanish in college, saying “I went to college, all my friends spoke Spanish, and I wanted to be part of this cool club… so I took some classes in college, and I was terrible. My friends had to help me through all my classes. Then I went to Mexico, and I got really good because I was there for a year.”

 Petrik got her start teaching in Billings, “I student taught in Billings with Rafael Zepeda who is Hendal Zepeda’s dad (Hendal Zepeda teaches Spanish at HMS), and I also taught English in Billings at Skyview, then I was an English teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School, and then I lucked out and my partner was offered a job at the state. But I really lucked out because I was able to get an interview at HHS, and Mr. Tennis wanted to hire me,” Petrik said.

Petrick loves her job at Helena High, saying, “Its like teaching kindergarten skills to adults, so it’s fun and you get to sing and dance, but it’s fun because the students all know how to behave.” She also believes every student should take a foreign language. “I think it’s important because it allows you to have a different perspective on the world, when you can think through a different lens, through a different language, it gives you a different perspective, and connects you with different people that you maybe wouldn’t really talk to.”

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