Challenging Culinary Courses

Teacher Provides Best for Student Needs


Brianna Ramos, reporter

Teaching requires a lot of education, credentials and experience. For one teacher, that is only the beginning.

Teacher Laura Tugwell has been instructing Culinary Arts for 10 years and Family and Consumer Sciences for 18 years. Inspired and driven by her students’ future, Tugwell changes her program as necessary to make sure the skills and industry certifications can help her students obtain positions and employment out of the classroom.

Things change,” Tugwell said “It is always important to keep learning new trends, techniques and methods to improve the program and skill sets so I can help my students be successful adults.”

Tugwell’s passion for food and nutrition grew when taking a Home Economics course in high school. She was also drawn to family and consumer sciences which led her to run for Regional FHA/Hero [FCCLA]. She was elected for State Vice President of Projects for FHA/HERO.  

“I continue to work really hard to nurture partnerships with various organizations and businesses in town to bring awareness about our program and the successes of our students,” Tugwell said. “I coordinate as best I can with area restaurants to make sure the skills and industry certifications I help my students obtain will benefit them and the businesses in town as students apply for jobs and work.”

Later she began working at Fairfield High School with four standard homestyle kitchens and a formal dining room. With the support of the school board and administration, She worked to change for the career needs of the students and transitioned the program into a functional commercial kitchen.

“Just try new things,” Tugwell said. “Try the new foods.  Experiment.  Fail. Try again.  Never stop learning.  Food is one of the things that brings people together. Use it to your advantage to keep people healthy and make people happy.”