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Kathryn Petaja

Hi! I’m Kathryn Petaja (Puh-tie-yuh), the 7th grade English teacher on the Wildside team.

I grew up in Albany, Georgia, and I moved to Helena after graduating from college in 1995. When I moved here, I didn’t know anyone (it was quite the adventure!). Helena quickly became home, and I’ve lived here ever since.

I began teaching in 2002 after completing the teacher education program at Carroll College (Go Saints!), and I moved to CRA in 2004. Primarily I teach English and Math. I’m a total Math nerd and a creative writer. Teaching middle school is my calling. I love my students; they’re “good medicine” and fill my days with laughter.

This year I am working on National Board Certification in the Teaching of Early Adolescent (11-15 years old) English Language Arts, and I’m hoping to begin a low residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program (focusing on fiction and creative nonfiction) in the summer.

I am a newlywed, married to my best friend since October 21, 2022. I have two children — a 17-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. We have two dogs, five cats and an aquarium of fish.

For fun, I enjoy traveling, driving my Mini Cooper, baking, creative writing, reading, acting and studying Algebra and Calculus.