Baby Changes Routine for Petreas

Isabel Owens, Lifestyle Editor

Math teacher Petro Petreas and his wife Stephanie Petreas welcomed their first child, Joella Julia Brigitte Petreas, into the world at 6:42pm on September 27.

At birth, Joella weighed 7 pounds and 12 ounces, and measured 21 inches.  Mr. Petreas took leave from September 25 to October 6 to help care for the newborn.

According to Mrs. Petreas , the pregnancy was routine.  She experienced the typical struggles.  “Turning over in bed became complicated. Sometimes I felt like a turtle on its back,” she said.

The delivery itself was without any major mishaps. “Everything went pretty well. When the baby was born she had some slight breathing problems at first because she had some fluid in her lungs, but it wasn’t a big deal,” Mrs. Petreas assured.

Mr. Petreas was missed in the classroom during his absence. “It was easy in the sense that we just got to do whatever we wanted. That was nice, but then we had a test and the test was actually hard and no one was teaching us it so it was just kind of weird,” said sophomore Gabrielle Ortega, an Algebra 2 Trig student.

“We didn’t learn too much new material. We kind of just practiced what we learned before we left, so it wasn’t particularly difficult, but it’s going to be a little difficult getting back into learning new material,” said sophomore Valerie Rockwell, an AP Calculus student.

Petreas appreciated being able to take time off from work.  His return to school was difficult after a week of making his own schedule. “After she [Joella] was born, we came back and Monday through Friday was great. I didn’t have to go to school, I went out to lunch every single day. Waking up today was tough,” he said.

The return is compounded by the erratic sleep schedule of a newborn. Mr. Petreas admits that his professional routine may be thrown out of whack. “So far, it’s been great. It’s very exciting, but at the same time it’s understandably been a lot of work,” he said. “There will definitely be some zombie days, I assume. Grading may take longer than expected,” he added.

Students like Rockwell however, are hopeful that their math teacher will still be able to deliver effective instruction. “I think sometimes he might be a little more tired, but I don’t think it’s really going to affect his teaching,” said Rockwell.

According to Mrs. Petreas, parenthood is what she expected.  The sleep deprivation is the biggest challenge. “It’s hard to get so much less sleep,” she said.

Mr. Petreas shared the process of deciding on a name for his baby with his students. “The name Joella came from a book of names. After reading like ten thousand names, we couldn’t come to an agreement. She rejected Penelope and Alexandra and I rejected Josephine. We wanted a name that was not too common but also not like too out there,” he explained.

Joella’s two middle names are family-related. “Julia was my dad’s mom and Brigitte was her dad’s mom,” Petreas said.

Rockwell appreciates the peek into Mr. Petreas’ family. “I think it’s really nice that he shares so much information with us about his personal life,” said Rockwell.

Mr. Petreas was initially nervous for fatherhood. “It’s a scary feeling that 15 years from now I will have one of you guys,” he said. However, he believes that teaching teenagers has better prepared him for this time.  He already feels a strong connection with his daughter. “It’s fun to have her just look at you and sort of interact,” he said.

Mr. Petreas’ students also enjoy the new quirks that come with their teacher’s lifestyle change. “I think he [Petreas] shows promise. He has a really high-pitched voice that he uses when he talks to Joella. Babies like that, right?” said Stephanie. “Perhaps being outnumbered by females will bring out the softer side of Mr. Petreas.”