Saints of Santa Fe College – Carolina Currea

October 5, 2020 – “I studied food engineering and worked in the food industry. I got married, then I was a stay at home mom. In the meantime, I volunteered in a pre-K classroom. I started tutoring. Then I said well, maybe I could be a teacher? That’s when I started looking into the EPI program* at Santa Fe.

I really liked it. I have recommended it to people many times. It was not just convenient, it was really small classes, you could connect with other teachers, and I got a lot of support from great professors. Every time I had a question, I’d write an email and it was like – snap – right back with the answer.

I’m currently a teacher at Hawthorne, this is my fourth year teaching. I love it! I teach Spanish. When they saw my background in food engineering they said why don’t you teach those programs too? So work with the CTE [Career and Technical Education] department. I teach Fundamentals of Culinary Careers for middle schoolers, and Nutrition and Wellness, Hospitality and Tourism, and Principals of Food Preparation for high schoolers.

Today we started sowing seeds because we’re going to start a garden. That’s one of the things I teach – where does food come from? I teach them how to measure dry and liquid ingredients, different types of cooking methods, then start working with recipes. Next semester, we’ll prepare students to take the ServSafe Certification from the National Restaurant Association. If they pass, they have the certification for five years. They can work in any restaurant or any food venue, or it can count for three credits of college.

One thing I love about teachers that I didn’t know before I became one – teachers I didn’t even know started sending me things, to help in the classroom. Teachers are really open and help each other. Because in the end, it’s about the kids that we’re educating. I really like that aspect. If I do something that my students like, I’m going to share it.”

  • Carolina Currea, teacher, Hawthorne Middle/High School

*The Educator Preparation Institute is a state-approved, one-year certification program for people who want to start a career teaching K-12 and already have a bachelors degree. The program is primarily offered online, on nights and on weekends. For more info, visit