Math with Mattila


Matthew Wirtz, News Writer

Almost every day at Lakeland High School, teacher Shannon Mattila prepares to teach by turning on her projector and preparing her notes for her coming classes. 

Mattila is a math teacher who has taught Lakeland algebra, geometry, algebra 2, pre-calc, trigonometry, calculus, and personal finance. 

However, when she was younger, she didn’t always want to be a math teacher. Originally she wanted to be an English teacher.

Initially, Mattila began her teaching career at Post Falls High School but transferred to LHS after one year. She has been teaching here for 17 years. 

For her, the transfer was a no-brainer. 

“I wanted to teach at Lakeland because I went to school here and knew that the focus was on academics first.  Also, who would not want to come back and teach with all of their old teachers?” Mattila said.

If someone has ever taken a class from Mattila, then they probably have heard her dry humor and banter with her students come out. 

Thomas Calder, a junior at LHS and one of Mattila’s students, notices this.

“She is constantly making jokes which is a good way for her to connect with students,” Calder said.

Calder also went on to say, “her class is very scary but also fun. The math is really difficult, but she always makes sure that everyone is always caught up and understands what is going on.”

Mattila is not only a teacher at LHS but also a coach for the cross country team. At first, she started a program at Lakeland Junior High School 10 years ago but has been coaching at the high school level for the sport since 2015. 

Cross country is the best sport to coach because not only do you get in a great workout, but the athletes that run it are tough and gritty and I am always amazed at what they accomplish in a season,” Mattila said.

Mattila is a little over halfway through her teaching career, reaching the middle of it last year.

I absolutely love working with my students and hardly ever go a day without laughing, sometimes at my students or my own jokes, but the time I spend with students is very enjoyable, so I do not plan on retiring until I reach full retirement in 16 years,” said Mattila.

Mattila plans on taking some of her students to a math competition on March 4.