Educator Spotlight: Kimberly Baldwin, 2017 AAFCS Teacher of the Year Merit Finalist

By AAFCS Team posted 08-01-2017 12:00 AM

thumbnail image

Making a Difference
:  "Culinary Nutrition and Catering Pathway"

This edition spotlights Kimberly Baldwin, CFCS, as one of the AAFCS 2017 Teacher of the Year Merit Finalists!

Program Focus:
FCS courses at Ponderosa High School are approved Colorado courses and align with state and national standards. Culinary Nutrition and Catering courses focus on healthy and innovative food preparation techniques with connections to families and careers. Culinary Nutrition, offered to 9-12 graders, provides students with a foundation of skills in food safety, nutrition and culinary skills. The Farm to Table approach and local sourcing of ingredients is a key focus of the course. The recipe modification process allows students to understand the purposes of ingredients in food preparation and how to substitute healthier choices. Then variations of the recipe are prepared and analyzed for appearance, taste and nutritional value. Students develop communication skills through discussing and then writing about their experiences. Learning extends to the home setting with students preparing healthy meals and posting to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for "Dining In" on FCS Day. Additionally, students prepare food items for sale at the school store and cater a minimum of three events per semester. The Culinary Nutrition and Catering Pathway has promoted the development of skills and opportunities for leadership and career preparation. Students develop skills for entry level positions in local business which increases visibility of the program. Further, students are connected to the community through their food drive to benefit the local food bank and through industry partners and culinary events.

School/Community Setting
Ponderosa High School located in Parker, Colorado is one of nine high schools in Douglas County School District with a total enrollment of 67,000 students.  Ponderosa is located southeast of the Denver metro area and is a suburban-rural area school. Founded in 1983, Ponderosa today has 1450 students enrolled in grades 9-12. Last year 96% of the graduating class had made plans to continue their education. Since 2008 with the opening of another high school the enrollment has dropped from 2400 students to 1000 students and has recently increased to 1450. During this time the department went from 4.5 teachers to one teacher. The Family & Consumer Science Department has 1.5 FTE for the 2016-2017 school year with 390 students enrolled in semester classes. Courses offered 2016-2017 include: Culinary Nutrition, Career Pathways, Child Development, Personal Finance, Relationships, Catering and Teacher Cadet.

Why did you "Say Yes to FCS"?
Reflecting back, I can honestly say it was family tradition. My grandmother, Lucille Beck Marsh was a graduate of Iowa State University and taught Home Economics for several years before marriage. My mother Caryl Marsh Lawyer was an ISU graduate in textiles and worked with community education and owned her own business. I started college undecided and soon found my path in Family & Consumer Sciences Education at ISU. During my career I have taught in Iowa, Kansas and Colorado in very small districts with less than 100 students to my current position in the second largest school district, Douglas County, in Colorado. My career is every changing with technology and the evolving needs of families, yet I always have the strong foundation of Family & Consumer Sciences.