There are some people that may try out a number of different career paths until they find the one that fits them the best. And there are others that know from an early age what direction they want to go. Gretchen Watson is part of the latter group, though she did not know exactly what field she wanted to pursue, she did know that she wanted to help others.
“I became an educator to empower others through education,” Watson said. “I always knew I would go into a career helping people, and teaching was my true passion. I always knew that I naturally loved math during my time in school, but that was not fostered. Girls and mathematics didn’t go together for future careers. When I decided to become a teacher, I knew I would teach high school math and ensure every student knew that math career fields were options.”’
Gretchen is in her ninth year as a math teacher at Bartlesville High School. She currently teaches Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, and College Algebra and Trigonometry.
As a high school student, Watson was able to learn from a number of different teachers, but she says that there is one that had a big influence on her to decide to become a teacher.
“Melissa Bush, who was my freshman Biology teacher at Skiatook High School, significantly impacted me,” she said. “She made me feel that being smart and doing well in school was okay.
For example, Mrs. Bush encouraged me when I found it interesting when we dissected fetal pigs while my classmates were grossed out in the corner. She made me feel that learning was my talent. These little things helped shape my high school career and my feelings about education.”
Gretchen and her husband Daniel have three children; Conner, Abby, and Andrew.
Whenever she is not teaching in the classroom, Watson enjoys doing things with her family, working on her future degree, or just relaxing.
“I spend my time taking my kids to activities,” she said. “I am also working on my master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration. So, writing papers and reading textbooks take up my weekends. Occasionally I work on my cross-stitching or watch a good tv show.”