Written by The Herald-News
Each year, The Herald-News interviews the new teachers in the community to provide our readers with an introduction to the new school staff teaching our children.
This week, we feature three of those new teachers and will continue our coverage in upcoming weeks.
After taking a year off from teaching, June Petrik is back at Northside Elementary School as a librarian.
Petrik enjoys reading and is hoping to help nonreaders to find the joy of reading and readers to expand their reading knowledge.
Petrick has been a preschool, special education and regular education teacher.
Shanna Hopson is a new third-grade teacher at Southside Elementary School. She was born and raised in Wolf Point and graduated with the class of 2009.
Being from Wolf Point, she is really excited to be back home and part of the community again. “My brother is a senior this year,” Hopson said, “and I am excited to witness all of the hard work he is into in preparation for college next fall.”
“I decided to become a teacher because I love to learn and I also found a deep passion for history while attending Wolf Point High School. I loved my teacher Mr. Denny and I wanted to show kids the fun side of a ‘boring’ subject! History is what I love, but I hope I can help students find what it is they love by teaching in a way that lets them explore what interests them!” Hopson said when asked why she became a teacher.
She graduated from Montana State University - Bozeman in 2013 and this is her first teaching job. She completed her student teaching in Cut Bank.
“Helping students realize that what they are learning is going to help them for the rest of their lives. I love it when their eyes light up when they are excited that they learned something new,” Hopson said.
“I love it that my students are starting to have a personal relationship with me. They can tell when I’m having a hard day or when it is an appropriate time to have some goofy fun,” Hopson noted.
“With this being my first year teaching, I’m excited for everything! I’m ready for the challenge and work. People always say that you have to do your time before everything works out for the best, I’m ready to put in my time and figure out what the best is going to be!”
Vivian Schultz is originally from Lewistown, but has been teaching for the past eight years at Ryegate. She is the new high school art teacher and librarian.
“I became a teacher because I seem to have the patience for it and I love learning new things,” she said. “It did help that my grandmother was also a teacher.”
She earned her bachelor degree in art from Montana State University - Billings and also attended Rocky Mountain College, Western Montana College and other universities during the summer.
She previously taught at Ryegate Public School, Grass Range Public School and Hobson Public School. She noted that she was lucky enough to student teach twice for her K-12 and K-8 endorsement at Winnett Public School and Hobson Public School.
When asked what she enjoys the most about teaching, she said, “I enjoy my subject matter and meeting new people. I have many favorite memories in teaching. Most are funny things my students say.”
She noted that she is “looking forward to learning more about the cultural differences between working on a reservation and working in a small rural school. Wolf Point has much to offer and the people I have met are great.”
Robin Hayes-Hernandez, who is originally from Wolf Point, said she decided to become a teacher because of some of the many teachers and administrators I had at Wolf Point High School.
She got her bachelor of art degree from the University of Montana and her masters degree from the University of Phoenix. She is the new junior high English teacher.
She has taught previously in Frazer, Lodge Grass, HelenaSchools and Capital High, Pinon, Ariz., and several schools throughout the Denver County, Jefferson County and Addams County in Colorado. She also taught at Fort Peck Community College and offered workshops through the college and assisted the staff developer at Pinon.
When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, she said, “I enjoy working with the students and seeing them realize how much they can enjoy and use what they are learning in real life, especially in a time of a ‘Global Society’ where they could end up working from home on a laptop or computer and be paid from a company in other parts of the world.”
Her favorite memory of teaching so far was when a student from Frazer who graduated and had become a police officer pulled me over to thank me for being his teacher and being honest with him about life after high school.
She is looking forward to learning from her students and teaching and sharing her knowledge with her students.
She noted that she wanted to say hi and said that she hasn’t seen many in the community in a long time and encouraged the community stop in at school any time. She loves having people come in and see what is going on in the classroom.