Culinary Arts Teacher

West Ashley High School

Charleston, S.C.

Age: 45

Biggest challenge you’ve overcome:

Pushing to build a culinary program from scratch.  When I was hired, the facility was a home economics room that did not have knives or cutting boards. By building relationships with the district and community, I have had the facility renovated into a commercial kitchen.

An important lesson learned:

When I first started, I tried teaching the students everything I knew about culinary arts.  It took me a while to learn that I first need to build relationships before true learning can begin.

How you view tech differently:

I’m fascinated by technology and jump on any chance to improve. Some co-workers are hesitant to allow tech, but I embrace it. We have Chromebooks for each student, and I teach them to build their own ePortfolio websites documenting their achievements. All recipes are shared online through Google Classroom for future reference.

Most rewarding moment so far:

When my students become part of the local restaurant scene and the owner or manager calls and asks for more.