Philbrick inspires creativity in students

By Zakary Rodriguez | Contributing Writer |

Katy Philbrick didn’t initially dream of coming back to Roosevelt High School once she had left. The 2001 alum graduated and went to Texas Tech university where she got her Master’s degrees in Architecture and Business Administration. Her goal was to work for an architecture firm but, after accomplishing this, she realized something was missing. She realized she missed “the educational side of architecture” and that’s when she decided she’d try teaching.

Philbrick is now the architecture teacher here at Roosevelt and DATA, where she has been teaching for the past 10 years.

“I decided I wanted to teach because when I was working in the architecture firm, I missed the interaction with people,” Philbrick said. “I missed the connection with people, and I missed learning new things.”

Katy Philbrick stands by some student created gingerbread men in her room. Photo by Zakary Rodriguez

As a teen, Philbrick had a passion for drawing but she “needed the practical side” that architecture would provide for her. After pursuing architecture through high school and college, she found work at a small architecture firm, Sage Architecture, for two years. There, she worked on interior design, space planning for office spaces, material management, and making sure buildings followed certain fire and safety codes. Because she was doing so much work Sage Architecture when she saw an opening at Roosevelt for DATA’s architecture teacher, she took it. She found what she was looking for in teaching, and students like Faith Feliciano, who has taken  Philbrick’s architecture courses for three years, found inspiration in her classes.

“Her projects always inspire creativity and she’ll work with the student one on one if they need help,” said senior Faith Feliciano. “I am applying to get an architecture major in college.”

Philbrick sees about 120 students throughout her day and teaches four different architecture classes but it’s her students that keep her going. She loves working with her students, being able to build relationships with them, and showing them what they can experience outside of the classroom.

“I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here, things that I would’ve never thought that I would’ve had to have learned or could learn,” Philbrick said. “But being able to take that and show my students how to do it, I think that’s what I’m most proud of. Which is a daily thing but that’s, again, why I’m here.”

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