Photo Courtesy of Selena Wallace
SELENA WALLACE, CTE Department
Q: What do you teach here at Wakefield?
A: “ teach food and nutrition one and culinary class.
Q: Why do you like teaching this subject?
A: Nutrition is what I’ve gone to school for and during COVID, all of my clinical opportunities got shut down, so I had to find volunteer opportunities in the community field, and I dedicated about 500 hours of volunteer work to community-based service, whether it was Meals on Wheels, Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina, Hospice, and I even volunteer on multiple farms throughout N.C. to drop off prescription produce to patients that were uninsured and had no access to foods and vegetables. Needless to say, I fell in love with the community aspect of nutrition and I thought that teaching nutrition to high school students was another way of getting involved in my community, but I targeted high school students specifically because parents and caretakers do not teach their children basic life skills anymore, so that is why I am here and it is very important because you are going to take these life skills and use them for the rest of your life.
Q: What is your educational background?
A: I have a bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics, I graduated this past May of 2022 from East Carolina University, ECU.
Q: What’s one impact that you want to make on students?
A: I want to teach kids or high school students specifically that high school can be fun if you let it, I want to also teach students that there can be a balance of structure in having fun and it can both be done in one place, but I also want to let my students specifically know that I do not just see them as students, I see them as people and I want them to see me as their mentor, not another person that is just handing them paperwork and telling them to get it done, I want a professional bond with my students.
Q: Have you always wanted to become a teacher?
A: In college, I had my advisors and one of my professors pull me aside and say ‘I don’t think that you are meant to be a healthcare professional’ because that is what I went to school for initially; it was to become a registered dietitian, they said ‘I like that you are supposed to be part of something greater, I think you are meant to teach, I think you are meant to be part of a community.’ and I laughed and I said ‘no, that is not what I want to do’ and they said ‘but that is what you’re good at.’ and you know after so many hours of volunteer work, it is what I ended up becoming passionate about and I fell in love with.
Q: If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
A: If I was not a teacher, I would still do community work. I personally would love to work in agriculture and work on a farm as a farmer or some sort of board member that is in charge of growing produce and delivering it to clinics for uninsured patients.
Q: What do you like to do outside of school?
A: I do a lot of DIY arts and crafts, I also work part-time with my best friend who owns a wedding business, so a couple of Saturdays a month, I help coordinate and decorate weddings from start to finish. Other than that, I spend time with my two-year-old daughter and my husband.