Who Am I ? I come to Mulberry SR with multiple careers in my background; all involving food, hospitality, budgeting, management and public relations. In addition, I have traveled extensively and uniquely. I have been on both sides of the "service industry." I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor and believe that you can have fun while you learn. I have never been afraid to try anything new because I felt that "no one could laugh AT me if they were having to laugh WITH me." I bring this outlook into the classroom setting and amaze my students and the staff with my silliness but thoroughness. To me, a task is not work if you are doing it with someone. I am a native Tennessean born and raised in Knoxville. I worked in the food service industry to put myself through college. My Family and Consumer Science degree is from the University of Tennessee with high honors, a major in education and a minor in occupational child development. Yes, my blood does run orange in the fall! I became the 2nd female sales representative for Provident Life & Accident's group department in 1980 and was transferred to Nashville, TN. I then transferred to FL in 1984 and married my long time friend, Jim at the same time. I chose to retire from that career in 1988 due to the travel involved and the value I have for family. Since then, I have experimented with many part time and volunteer endeavors until total boredom set in. I joined the Polk County School Board in July 2005, taught Life Management Skills at Lake Gibson High School and Culinary Arts at Kathleen High School until joining the Mulberry Panthers in January 2012. I was forced to be out on disability in 2013-2014 due to breast cancer. I conquered and endured 9 months of treatment and now had a clean bill of health for over four years. I enjoy sharing my love for culinary with the students who want to pursue this occupation as a career or as a hobby. I have a different perspective toward teaching and do more hands-on and demonstration rather than regimented " book work." Of course, it takes students who pay attention, follow directions and ask questions to be able to use this teaching method. Together, Jim and I have 3 grown daughters, 3 granddaughters, 1 grandson and 2 great grandchildren living in North Carolina and TN. We have raised and lost 3 4-legged spoiled rotten dogs in our married life and have just adopted another rescue dog in October. I was honored to be asked to share some of my classroom successes at the 2010 Florida Future Educators of America's state conference in Orlando, FL. Their theme was "To Change the World One Child at a Time" and I spoke on "Tough Love in the Kitchen." My proudest accomplishment is being taught to play competitive tennis by my husband and succeeding in coordinating a USTA team that accomplished winning 4th place at the 2003 National competition held in Scottsdale, AZ. To know we made it into the TOP 1,000 players in the world is still phenomenal! In addition to being captain of 10 women, coordinating the many practices, clinics and the multitude of matches won to get there; the team also did fund raisers and solicited enough funds to totally pay for our travel, accommodations, meals and registration for both state and national competition. In my “spare time”, I thoroughly enjoy entertaining, scrap booking and gardening. I play BUNKO with my buddies once a month for a good laugh and belong to 3 Memory Katcher Scrapping groups that meet monthly to crop, scrap and laugh into the wee hours of the night. In addition to my Culinary Scrapbooks (I now have 6), I work on tennis and family books. It is a great way to show creativity and to go down memory lane. I have even been paid by friends and family to use this talent but I prefer to do it from the heart. I am here to help my students be better prepared to face adulthood and responsibility with skills, work ethics and knowledge of the food service industry and hospitality opportunities that are growing daily. I want to give them the tools to help make their world a better place and to believe in themselves. This curriculum promotes Rigor, Relevance and Respect by requiring the use of Reading, Language, Math, Science and Socialization in all aspects of life management. My motto is, "Do is the First Part of Done!"
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