Joanna Winston started college as a journalism major thinking that some day she would write for a magazine about child development or the culinary arts.
Once she began taking classes at ISU, she found her true passion was in the area of family and consumer sciences. A true renaissance woman, Winston keeps up to date on current culinary, nutrition, health, fashion, design, and children’s issues.
Winston finds her area of education interesting because it is applicable to everyone. At Roosevelt High School, she teaches nutrition, Prep 1 and 2 as well as health.
“There are many students who are looking for a place to belong or something to identify with, and it’s rewarding to help them realize that potential,” she smiled. “My favorite lessons are our lab days; namely, our international foods and breads labs. It is so rewarding to see students problem solving and learning collaboratively when they’re in the kitchen.”
Over the years consumer sciences have changed considerably with the times and technology.
“What started as a homemaking class has developed into a course to help students become fully-engaged citizens. We teach skills that are critical in helping people find employment, take care of themselves, and allow for creative outlets. I don’t expect them to walk into the world with all the answers, but I hope I have equipped them with the knowledge to know where to find them.
“Kids are fairly in tune to what’s going on, so any given day I need to be prepared to answer their questions about what they’ve heard on the news,” she says. “Most recently, kids heard about BPA in cans, so we had a discussion in one class about what that means for them as consumers. It wasn’t on the lesson plan, but it was on their minds.”
Winston says that seeing her students develop confidence in the kitchen is what makes her proud.
“I would love to partner with local chefs and businesses to offer a course where students interested in culinary arts as a career could have some hands-on work experience,” she says.
Her own culinary education began when she was a little girl. “My mom cooked, but wasn’t in love with it. I would spend a few weeks during the summer with my grandmother and that’s where I really started hone some of my skills,” she says.