Teacher gives curriculum presentation to school board

Linda Rusnica, family consumer sciences teacher, standing, gives a presentation to the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education Nov. 6 at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — A presentation by a Greater Johnstown School District life studies teacher on her curriculum was given to the Board of Education last week at Johnstown High School.

Johnstown Teachers Association President Nancy Lisicki introduced Knox Junior High School family consumer sciences teacher Linda Rusnica as part of monthly “building reports” on non-traditional district classes.

Rusnica gave a slideshow, noting she provides students with the useful “home part” of some of their education day. She said she teaches five different units to eighth graders in a half-year course.

“They love to be in the kitchen,” the teacher said.

These five areas are taught: nutrition, food preparation, financial management, child development and sewing.

With nutrition studies, Rusnica said the students are exposed to how to measure food quantities, diet control, and examine food goods such as cereal and pasta. She said the course looks at fat and sodium content in foods, including students viewing the 2004 Morgan Spurlock documentary, “Super Size Me.” The film is about a person’s 30-day diet of only McDonald’s food.

Rusnica said the food preparation component of the course refers to “math” needed in the kitchen, as well as dietary needs, and kitchen and food safety.

“We have cakes in a cup,” the teacher said.

The component also deals with microwave cooking, the importance of breakfast, and includes a “cupcake wars” activity.

Other parts of the course include basic first aid, CPR, and students making their own bags for shopping.

Rusnica said the financial management unit of the course includes investing, goals, budgeting, reconciling checkbooks, and information about credit cards and debit cards.

The sewing unit, Rusnica said, includes information about both machine sewing and hand sewing.

“I always incorporate a community service project,” she said.

Rusnica said such projects have included puppets for pediatric settings, wheelchair totes, baking cookies for community stakeholders, dresses for girls in Africa, and comforters for pets.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.