Greg Ptasnik retires from teaching
Pinedale High School teacher Greg Ptasnik is retiring. Photo courtesy Sublette County School District #1.
Pinedale High School Economics and Business teacher taught for 30 years
by Sublette County School District #1, Ellen Skinner
June 13, 2006
(Pinedale) Greg Ptasnik retired from Sublette County School District #1 this year after a 30-year teaching career at Pinedale High School. Ptasnik, who taught economics and business, has an undergraduate degree in economics and a Masters degree in Public Administration.
As a young man, Ptasnik wanted to teach high school and live in the Rocky Mountains. When he had his chance, and interviewed for a position in Pinedale, he had some concern about the social opportunities that weren't available in this small town. Rumor has it that he decided to accept the teaching offer after a drive to Sylvan Bay. He reported that the view was fantastic, and he says that he loves the view to this day. In fact, he likes Fremont Lake so much that he became a business partner at Lakeside Lodge where he can share the spectacular setting with visitors.
Ptasnik has seen many changes in the business field over the course of his career. When he started teaching, PHS was using manual typewriters with a few IBM Selectrics available. Today, his teaching area has a traditional classroom and a computer lab where students learn computer and business skills.
He introduced a program that professionally certifies students who are accomplished in Microsoft Office applications such as Excel and Word. This certification, which is a recognized standard worldwide, can be valuable to students when they look for a job.
One of Ptasnik's favorite projects was the High School Financial Planning Project. "It was developed to inform and educate high school students about sound money management skill and the financial planning process," he said. The planning project was broken down into units that included finding a labor you love and planning for it, creating a budget for college or life, saving and investing, using credit to your advantage, and protecting yourself with insurance.
Students take the principles of economics that they had learned throughout the year and apply them to their future. "These principles are more relevant by the senior year, which is why the students are more interested," he said. "They may be thinking that they need to buy a house or go to college or will have a family," he said. He got great enjoyment when his students would call him a few years later when they had made a deal to start their own business, put money into a 401K or buy a stock. "They're always so excited when they make their first deal," he said. "It is always good to hear about it."
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