Ms. Gariepy – Learning While Teaching

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Emmy Gariepy

Ms. Gariepy’s classroom is all about learning – and her students aren’t the only ones doing it.

Olivia Cornell, Reporter

Meet Ms. Emmy Gariepy: Highland’s newest Earth and Marine Science teacher. Ms. Gariepy was born and raised here in Arizona, and attended Arizona State University, dual-majoring in Biological Sciences and Secondary Education.

Even as a child, Gariepy expressed a love for teaching and leadership. “When I was a kid, I loved playing teacher, and I would never let any of my friends be the teacher…it had to be that way.” However, as she grew older Gariepy had second thoughts about handling a whole classroom of kids and grappled with the idea that teaching may not be the path for her. Yet as she found that her college lab work became “incredibly boring”, Gariepy realized that she was made to interact with people in a way that a teaching career provides.

When interviewing for the job, Ms. Gariepy said that she immediately fell in love with the environment here at Highland. Her hardworking and inspiring students are what keep her going everyday: “You guys are so much fun. I really enjoy getting to know you all and you teach me so much everyday; I learn more from you than I did from any day in college.”

Being a young teacher like Ms. Gariepy has a variety of perks; there is something about being close in age to your students that creates a connection and allows for student and teacher to relate to one another. But of course, with her youth, challenges arise too. Ms. Gariepy expresses that “[she finds] there’s definitely times where barriers can be crossed…There is a fine line between ‘Oh we’re friends’ and ‘I’m your teacher and you’re my student’…You can look at me and think I’m decently young. So, ‘Can you respect me?’ and ‘How do I gain that respect?’”

Ms. Gariepy came to Highland High School seeking a job that would foster both the growth of her and her students. She makes it clear that she expects respect in her classroom, but also allows for fun through interactive lessons and activities. Only two months into her employment here, and she has learned so many valuable lessons. Her message for all students is this:

“Learn to love yourself. Genuinely, because you are in a really really tough time in your lives. High school is tough…you’re in this really weird position in life that is hard to get through and the sooner you learn to just treat yourself with respect and view yourself as worthy, lovable, kind, and caring, the sooner your life will get easier.”