Teacher Spotlight Glitters on Mrs. Criswell 

By: Avalynne Russell 

     As many students may know, last year, Eisenhower gained a new Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, and many of you may now know her as your favorite teacher. She teaches a variety of fun, hands-on, and interesting classes in room G110. You may often see her standing outside of her classroom door as you walk from class to class, or you may see her at school events, such as the blood drive. To help everyone to get to know her a little better, The Squire interviewed Mrs. Criswell for this issue’s teacher spotlight. 

The Squire: What made you want to become a teacher?  

Mrs. Criswell: In elementary school, I always wanted to be a teacher. And then as I got older, some of the people that made the biggest impact on my life were teachers, so I just feel like it was one of those things that was like, I want to do that. I want to help people. 

TS: What do you like most about teaching at EMHS?  

Mrs. C: I love the students. I really enjoy the kids that I get to work with. They overall are super nice and respectful. They’re motivated, and it makes me want to be a good teacher. But what I love the most is that my family is here! My children, my husband, and my sister are all here, so even when I am at work it still feels a little like home.    

TS: What is your favorite part about being a teacher?  

Mrs. C: I feel like I have a lot of parts that I enjoy. So, I mean the best parts are like when kids get something that they struggle with at first and then the lightbulb goes off. That’s probably the best part. But I really just like to watch the kids grow up from sixth grade on and get to know them. It is really rewarding to watch them become adults! And to watch them cook, and to hang out with them and hear about their life.  

TS: What classes are you teaching this year?  

Mrs. C: I teach Foods, Baking, Child Development, Sewing and Crafts, Housing and Interiors, Seventh Grade Family Consumer Science and Sixth Grade Family Consumer Science. 

TS: How long have you been a teacher?  

Mrs. C: Roughly 15 years, that or maybe 14, I lost track of time at one point. 

TS: What made you choose to be a Home Economics teacher?  

Mrs. C: I love the kitchen, and I find it fits my personality in the sense of like cooking and sewing and being hands on and it’s a creative outlet, and that’s just where I’ve always been happiest. 

TS: What is your favorite class to teach?  

Mrs. C: Oh, it really depends on the day, but I think my favorite class to teach is one where all the students are nice, but I probably would say baking only because that tends to be where I geek out the most! 

TS: What is unique about teaching at Eisenhower that you have not found at any other schools where you have previously taught?  

Mrs. C: The water, I’m just kidding! I mean, I guess the culture, like I’ve never had a winning football team! No, for real though, I feel like the culture is very nice; the students are motivated, they want to do well, and, overall, I enjoy coming here because I feel like that is the overall vibe. People are happy to be here, and you don’t always get that in other places. 

TS: Where have you previously taught, and what subjects did you teach?  

Mrs. C: Ha ha ha ha, do you really want the answer to that one? Okay, I started out a Warren High and I taught there for maybe five years, and I taught Family and Consumer Sciences, so basically what I teach now. Then, after that, I moved to Warren Area Elementary Center, and I taught fourth grade for a year, and then I was involuntarily transferred to Sheffield, where I taught for seven or eight years, and I taught a variety of Family Consumer Science classes, as well as seventh and eighth grade math courses. After that, I spent a year as an assistant principal at Warren Area Elementary Center, and then I came here! 

TS: Are there any other interesting facts about yourself that you would like the Eisenhower community to know?  

Mrs. C: I love chocolate, and things that smell good, so if you ever want to suck up to me, no, I’m just kidding, I’m super mean and a good disciplinarian, no, but really, I learned a lot of what I know in the kitchen from working at The Plaza. So, I worked at The Plaza when I was 16, and that’s where I really started to get into cooking because I would watch them cook and then I eventually kind of learned how to cook there. My parents taught me some basics as well, but that’s where it really became more fun and I would go in Saturday mornings and help them cook pies because that was my favorite part, and I got to put the meringue on the top. And I still work there to this day on Thanksgiving, so I go in, and we make hundreds of pies every year on Thanksgiving, and its tradition now. In my free time you’ll find me more than likely with my children or in my kitchen. And I rock climb! 

     That wraps up this issue’s Teacher Spotlight! The Squire would like to thank Mrs. Criswell for taking time out of her hectic schedule to answer our questions and for letting us all get to know her a little better. If you want to learn about child development, or how to cook, bake, craft, and sew, be sure to sign up for one of her classes in the future. Also, be sure to check out the other articles in this issue of The Squire and stay tuned for future Teacher Spotlights! 

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