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Patrea Fernandez B'02 

Patrea has been teaching Spanish at Bellarmine since 2014. Before returning to Bellarmine, she attended Seattle University where she double majored in Psychology and Spanish and earned her Masters in Teaching degree from Saint Martin’s University. Throughout her career she has substitute taught at Bellarmine, Holy Rosary and Saint Charles and taught at Bonney Lake High School for 5 years. Patrea married her high school sweetheart, Josh Fernandez B’02 13 years ago and they live in Lakewood with their two sons, Xavier (7) and Zander (5). Both of her son’s currently attend Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy.
Patrea has been teaching Spanish at Bellarmine since 2014. Before returning to Bellarmine, she attended Seattle University where she double majored in Psychology and Spanish and earned her Masters in Teaching degree from Saint Martin’s University. Throughout her career she has substitute taught at Bellarmine, Holy Rosary and Saint Charles and taught at Bonney Lake High School for 5 years. Patrea married her high school sweetheart, Josh Fernandez B’02 13 years ago and they live in Lakewood with their two sons, Xavier (7) and Zander (5). Both of her son’s currently attend Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy.

What has it been like returning to Bellarmine as an Alum and a Teacher?

"It took me some time to be able to call my high school teachers by their first name, but I felt so lucky to be embraced wholeheartedly.

As a student, one of my favorite parts of Bellarmine were the retreats. Now, as a teacher working on student retreats, they continue to bring me gratitude for my spiritual growth and for the opportunity to see my students in a new light. It is refreshing making relationships outside of the classroom and makes me appreciate what students endure each day. 

In reflection, teaching at Bellarmine is more than just a job. Living out its mission has become a significant part of who I am. It has made me a better wife, mother, and teacher because I have felt supported and loved in my personal growth these past 7 years. I felt like I was living out my purpose and was happy to work at somewhere that valued family, community, and a life of faith." 

What is your teaching philosophy?

"At Bellarmine I have taught Spanish levels 1-3, and my style tends to be more immersion based. I studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico for two summers, and it is there that I attained my proficiency in and love for the language. I am passionate about teaching students how to use the language as opposed to only about the language. We focus a lot on culture, and I pull many of my lessons from authentic materials. When I hear stories of my students using Spanish in the ‘real world,’ it lights a fire in me and inspires me to continue teaching Spanish. It is a class that allows students to connect to a world outside of their own leading to service and personal connections."

What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?

"One of the most rewarding experiences that I have had in my teaching career was completing the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. I found a passion for meditation and contemplative prayer and was able to solidify my experience with a spiritual mentor at Bellarmine. The Spiritual Exercises allowed me to see my relationships with others (especially my students) through a lens of love, and I will forever be changed because of them." 
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