Kathleen Shorack Petty, otherwise known as “Frau Petty,” is Gutenberg’s German tutor. She was inspired to learn German by her mother, whose parents were German speaking immigrants from the Ukraine and Switzerland, and by her high school German teacher. She has taught at elementary schools (both in the United States and Germany), high schools, and college; and she has been a workshop leader for world language teachers. She retired from her public-school career in 2018, but in 2020 she left retirement to be a Pro-Tem German instructor at the University of Oregon and also joined the Gutenberg faculty in 2022. Kathleen is passionate about teaching the German language and culture and introducing students to a global perspective. Getting to know her students and helping them be successful is very important to her.
As a child, she traveled the world with her family (her father was an Air Force pilot), living in Japan (her birthplace), France, Germany, and New York State. In 1966, when her father did not return from Vietnam, she and her mother and siblings moved to Oregon, her parents’ home state, and she began the 6th grade in Eugene. She continued her travels with her husband, Walter Petty, and their two daughters, traveling through Europe, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America. Now she and her husband enjoy excursions with their Scamp trailer, hiking, canoeing, and paddle boarding with their French Brittney Spaniel, Ollie, and spending time with family, especially their two-year-old granddaughter, Ana. Kathleen also enjoys reading novels in German, baking, knitting, playing the flute, and more recently, playing the bells in the Central Lutheran Bell Choir.