The “FACS” of our new teachers

Kaylee Ohlson and Lydia Rust

This year two new teachers will be introduced into the Family And Consumer Sciences (FACS) department. Foods and Nutrition teacher, Ann Wellner, and Foods and Nutrition, Prostar, and International Foods teacher, Christina Hocker.

Wellner has a Bachelor’s degree for human services, and an Education degree from the University of Central Missouri. This is not Wellner’s first time teaching in the Ray-Pec school district. She has taught first grade at Creekmore Elementary.

“This is my 10th year teaching. I’ve taught 1st grade for nine years and this is my first year teaching high school,” said Wellner.

A hobby of Wellner’s is, obviously being a FACS teacher, cooking. Though she likes to cook all foods, her favorites include lasagna and cookies.

“I love to cook and I love to teach and putting those together is the perfect job,” Wellner said.

Most of the first graders she taught have grown into young men and women currently going to high school. She loves working with kids and can not wait for this year to progress and get to know more of her students.

“The diversity of each one of my students. Some are quiet, some are boisterous, some ask a lot of questions, and some are funny,” Wellner said.

  Her class is more than just making food and eating it. Before she lets anyone in the kitchen they do class work, and have a few labs to get comfortable with cooking. She also does a lot of cooperative learning and hands on activities so things do not get tedious

. Most of it in the first 6 weeks is Power Points and jigsaw, and then after we do a lot of lab work,” said Wellner

Every student learns differently and Wellner understands that so she tries using different methods of teaching. Kids have many different ways of learning. Some students learn through lecture, some through hands-on activities, and some through mathematics.

“There are so many learning styles I try to accommodate all of them,” Wellner said.

One of the most important things to her is she wants her students to get something from the class that they might use for the rest of their lives, or maybe something they would want to do for the rest of their lives

“I just hope that people will want to take the food classes and see if food is what that want to pursue as a career,” Wellner said.

For Christina Hocker, High School is a whole new world for her. Before, she taught at Truman High School in Independence since 2003 which was her first teaching job. She graduated from University of Central Missouri with her Bachelor’s and Master’s. Hocker majored in Secondary Education with a focus of Family and Consumer Sciences.

“I’ve been teaching for 14 years and I have always taught in the FACS class. For the 10 years I worked with parenting and youth education. I soon got into culinary and that’s why I’m here now,” said Hocker.

An interesting fact about Hocker is that she is part Sicilian. Her mother moved to America from Sicily before Hocker was born. Her grandma used to make fresh bread daily along with meat balls and all sorts of pasta. This weighs on the fact that Hocker’s favorite type of food to cook is italian.

“I enjoy cooking Italian food because my mother is from Sicily and moved into the US, so I like cooking food my family has a connection to,” said Hocker.

Hocker said that she enjoys teaching her students here at the high school. She says she likes to be able to interact with them everyday. Hocker hopes to get to know all of her students very well.

“ I like the kids who are excited to learn and who are kind and compassionate. They help me out in a way,” said Hocker.

In Hocker’s class they spend most of the time at the tables, learning the proper method to cook the foods they are going to cook along with the rules of the kitchen because it helps the students prepare for the kitchen. She likes to teach them in her own way, but for the preparation for the kitchen, she chooses to go by the book for notes.

“I think that’s why students like teaching foods classes because it’s a little bit of lecture, a little bit of lab work,” said Hocker

Hocker is still getting used to high school and cannot wait to get to know everybody. She enjoys the spirit and the positivity. Hocker has lived in Raymore for about six years, though she taught in Independence.

“I’m excited about getting to know the kids here in Raymore, So far it has been good. It has been a positive experience,” said Hocker

Hocker enjoys teaching FACS because she gets to teach the kids about real-life situations and skills that they can use later on in life. She also likes to get the kids involved in food and show them that there is more to it than eating. Hocker would like to inspire her students to get cooking in their kitchen at home.

“I love teaching in general because I like working with kids,” said Hocker.

Though they have experience in teaching, both Ann Wellner and Christina Hocker are new to the high school curriculum. In time, they will get the hang of secondary education teaching and may inspire students along the way.

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