North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Sonia Pietryzk, Science teacher

Image from Sonia Pietryzk

What is your name, department, and what are your pronouns? My name is Mrs. Pietrzyk, she/her/hers, and I’m a Physics teacher–Science Department.

What made you want to become a Physics teacher? I like connecting with high school students. I’m a very social person, and I feel like I really just like talking with teenagers and…I love physics, so it makes sense that I would teach my students to problem-solve and be good critical thinkers.

In class, you’ve mentioned being an engineer with ComEd. Have any skills or ideas from that profession translated to your teaching career? Yes! As an engineer, we did a lot of–well, the content was circuits [which she teaches in class], basically. And I feel like I just have a very big picture of what students need as they enter the real world and the workforce. So, I know how to deal with clients, and I know that being flexible is important. I think a lot of these real-life skills help me engage with my students, and I can be lenient and flexible when needed.

You’ve also spoken in class about your two boys. What do you appreciate most about them? They’re just so fun. It’s a really big privilege to be their mother. They’re fun, they’re funny, they really test me and test my patience, and actually, it really helps me be a better teacher. Because I feel like I understand kids more with my kids, because I know them so well.

What’s something that you really enjoy doing with your kids? We do arts and crafts. We play basketball. We play board games. And then I take them to the trampoline park.

In one old issue of North Star News, you talk about how you love that you can raise your kids to be Indian. Can you say more about that? I just feel like it’s such a rich culture, and community is so valued in the Indian culture. I’m really glad that I can impart those values with my kids–community, family values, things like that.

What do you love to do outside of the classroom? I love reading, and I like working out.

What’s your favorite book? A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara.

Are there any areas in which you have great skill or knowledge outside of physics? Baking.

What do you like to bake? I like to bake cookies, brownies, cakes.

What is your favorite food? My favorite food is sushi and pizza.

What is your proudest moment? Changing careers. Because it was a big risk, taking a pay cut and investing into something that I didn’t know if I would love or not, and I still did it, I took the risk, and there I am.

Would you recommend that people take that kind of risk if it means being able to do what they love? Yes. I highly recommend it. If you don’t take a risk, there’s no reward.

If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be? Dan Levy from Schitt’s Creek. Lady Gaga. And Beyoncé.

Who’s your favorite musical artist? I’m in a Beyoncé phase right now.

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About the Contributor
Reed Larson-Erf
Reed Larson-Erf, Reporter
Reed Larson-Erf is a Junior at Niles North, joining North Star News for the first time this year. He enjoys reading, writing, watching Doctor Who and Arnold Schwartzenegger movies, and any chance he gets to make his friends laugh.

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    RubyMay 8, 2024 at 8:11 pm

    My QUEEN!!!