May Teacher of the Month

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by Taylor Viydo, 
"When it comes to what I wanted to do with my life, I decided I really wanted to have a positive impact on the world," says Natrona County High School science teacher John Patton. 
For him, the best way to go about making that impact was to become a teacher. "Education just made sense," he says. "It really makes sense to go into [teaching] and hopefully make a difference in kids lives each day." Specifically, Patton wanted to go into teaching science. "Science is a great way to get kids to think and apply their knowledge of math, history, English, and put all of it together in one document," Patton adds. 
Now, Patton's love of teaching science is taking him half way across the world. Next year, he will be living and teaching in St. Gilgen, Austria. 
"I always kind of liked the idea of teaching internationally, I had a couple of friends that did it, and it seemed really inspiring...a great opportunity," says Patton. Now, he'll be teaching students at St. Gilgan International School, which is one of the top international schools in Europe. Patton will be educating not only Austrian students, but also students from places like Africa and Asia.  
"When you expand your comfort zone, you're going to expand your life," Patton says. "I'm going to be living in a completely different country away from everything I know, everybody I know. It's completely different, and I think that's good." 
He admits he is nervous to begin teaching in Austria, but he knows it's what he wants to do. "It's exciting to think that I could have a positive impact on the world. I go back to that first statement 'why did I become a teacher?' I could have a positive impact on the world," Patton says. "Now, here's the world stage. I've taught in Colorado, I've taught in Wyoming and now I get to teach in Austria."