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Teacher of the month

FACS teacher focuses on practical skills

Staff writer

Hillsboro High School family and consumer science teacher Monica Leihy hurried from one station to the next Thursday morning, helping students with a variety of projects in an introductory class.

At one station, she helped a student set up a sewing machine for practice. At another, she helped a pair of students prepare to make quesadillas and returned later to help with a stir fry. At another station, she helped two students conduct blind taste tests of cola and peanut butter.

She also started students on lessons about conflict resolution, time and money management, and drug and alcohol awareness, occasionally checking their progress.

Technology-based living is an introductory course, giving students lessons in an array of fields. Leihy said her other classes — foods and nutrition, fashion and textiles, and child development — are more structured and focused. Overall the theme of family and consumer science classes is problem solving, she said.

“Since the seventh grade I wanted to be a home ec. (economics) teacher because of my experience in 4-H,” Leihy said.

She said she always enjoyed cooking projects as a member of the Tampa Triple T’s club. Leihy also credited her teachers with fostering her interest.

Increased use of technology has been the biggest change she has witnessed since she began teaching. Computers allow her to do simulations that would be impossible to do on paper. Another change she has made is an increased focus on how students can use the skills she teaches in the future.

HHS Principal Max Heinrichs commended Leihy, saying she maintains high standards for her students and that she is always willing to help.

Hillsboro Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America has thrived under her leadership, Heinrichs added. FCCLA has a close correlation with family and consumer science, he said. For the past two years, FCCLA members have qualified for national quiz bowl competition.

Leihy has taught as HHS for eight years. She has a total of 20 years teaching experience, with previous jobs at Centre, Cedarville, and two schools in Wyoming.

Last modified April 13, 2011

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