Australian experience shaped Gregg’s interest in science

Rebekah Harrell
Staff Writer

Traveling halfway across the world, science teacher Renae Gregg set out on an adventure of a lifetime. She traveled to Australia, leaving her family and everything she knew behind to take a chance to become a scientist.

Gregg’s career started way before she became a teacher at SHS. She graduated from high school at SHS where she was considered one of the best basketball players in history. She even coached the girls basketball team for a while. She played basketball for over 30 years. 

Gregg set off after graduating high school to Portland State University. She spent four and a half years there before withdrawing to go to Australia for two years. Later she returned to Australia for eight years. While at Portland State she first became a history major then a political science major and finally a science major. Specifically, she majored in general biology and biochemistry.

“I really enjoyed history and I really enjoyed political science, but I like having answers and I like being able to talk about the answers and figure things out,” Gregg said.

During her eight years in Australia she worked in a pathology lab, did accounts for a cleaning company, wrote opinion newspaper articles and many more things. Gregg learned many lab skills. Later, the lab sent her back to America to attend college to develop her skills even more. 

“I felt like because I had a degree in science that they were willing to take me in and teach me lab skills,” Gregg said.

While she had no clue of what she was heading into she trusted that everything was going to work out. Some of her favorite memories include playing basketball and learning to climb up and down cliffs. 

“One of the first times we were out in the bush and heard this really loud thumping. We were sure that someone was chopping down trees or building something, so we tried to find the sound. We were surprised by a very large grey kangaroo. When they hop, they are loud! I had no idea,” Gregg said.

Gregg recommends everyone who gets a chance to travel. This experience shaped her life and helped her adapt to different changes throughout her life. 

“I really feel like it is an experience I would encourage people to do and I think it gravely changed my life and my outlook on life,” Gregg said.

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