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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Knead, Proof, Score: Steinmetz Named BOHS Teacher of the Year

Jacob An
Culinary Arts teacher Janet Steinmetz prepares a dough that will be proofed and shaped into donuts during a Jan. 17 class. Steinmetz received the BOHS Teacher of the Year recognition, her second, on Jan 9.

Behind the sweet aroma of fresh, oven-baked pastries and pies that fill the hallways in the New Building is Janet Steinmetz, Family and Consumer Science teacher, and the students in her Culinary 1 and 2 classes. 

On Jan. 8, however, it was Dr. Joshua Porter, principal, alongside administration, staff members, and teachers who had a treat for Steinmetz: an announcement that the veteran teacher is this year’s BOHS Teacher of the Year (TOTY).

“I feel honored to have received this award. There are so many teachers here that could have easily been chosen for Teacher of the Year,” Steinmetz, who previously won the award in 2011, said. 

Steinmetz has been teaching Culinary Arts — which covers the basics of baking, nutrition, and food service operations — at BOHS for 17 years (she previously taught in Kansas for 19 years). 

In an email to BOHS staff on Jan. 10, Porter said, “Janet is the person who comes to mind when we think of an outstanding educator. She is enthusiastic about teaching and sharing her love of all things culinary with her students. Her dedication to her students is unparalleled.”

To prepare for the cooking days in her classes, Steinmetz arrives extra-early to campus.

“She’s here before everybody, prepping. She really embodies everything that we want our school to be,” Cecilia Story, assistant principal, said. 

Teachers nominated candidates by submitting letters about why their colleague is deserving of the annual recognition. This year, nine teachers were nominated by their peers. BOHS administrators then selected the winner from the pool of candidates.

She works tirelessly…and wants to create the best experience for her students and have them love cooking as much as she does.

— Kara Dietz, Link Crew Adviser

“Ms. Steinmetz is a teacher who always puts her students first. She imparts her passion for food onto her students and gives them a chance to develop life skills. I love being across the hall from her, not only for the delicious smells, but for having a neighbor who I enjoy as a colleague and friend,” Sara Bottalico, science teacher, said.

Kara Dietz, Link Crew adviser, said that Steinmetz is “the perfect fit” for the award. “There has not been a day when I did not see her with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. She works tirelessly for her content area and wants to create the best experience for her students and have them love cooking as much as she does. The detail and excitement to which she teaches is absolutely awe-inspiring,” she said.

Jayden Graham, senior, used the skills the learned in Steinmetz’s culinary courses to land a job at Chipotle. “She deserves the recognition. She always has a positive attitude, which carries on to other people. She makes sure everyone gets the help they need and is always there for everybody,” Graham said.

It’s Steinmetz’s enthusiasm for food that inspires students like Angel Lara, senior, and Culinary 2 student. “There’s a real sense of family in this class. We all listen to her and respect her,” Lara said. 

Lana Galeano, senior in Culinary 2, said her favorite part of the culinary classes is learning new recipes and getting to collaborate with peers. “I have learned a ton of new recipes and ways to make new foods that I wouldn’t have considered making before,” Galleano said.

Steinmetz is also the adviser of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) at BOHS. As faculty adviser for the club, she guides students in fulfilling catering orders for school events and expanding their practical cooking and serving skills.

For Lauren Morales, senior, and secretary of FCCLA, cooking through the club taught her independence. “Ms. Steinmetz helps us expand our imagination and be creative. I get better because of her,” Morales said.

The popularity of Steinmetz’s culinary program has led BOHS administrators to consider adding a Culinary 3 course for the 2024-2025 school year, a result of “[Steinmetz’s] advocacy for her students,” Story said.

Steinmetz is now eligible for the Orange County Teacher of the Year recognition, which will be announced in May.

“It is fun to pass something I love on to my students. I get so excited when my students cook or bake something at home because that tells me they really enjoy it,” Steinmetz said.

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About the Contributors
Ellen Kim
Ellen Kim, Editor-in-Chief
Ellen Kim, senior, has been a member of the newspaper staff since her freshman year and is excited to lead the staff as Editor-in-Chief. Alongside her leadership in the Wildcat, Ellen is involved in ASB as Senior Class President and can be spotted in many clubs and organizations across campus including HOSA, Mubotics, Orchestra, and FTOC. Outside of school, Ellen can be found learning the ukulele, listening to her favorite pop tunes, or playing a competitive round of Uno. Ellen has published over 35 pieces for the Wildcat and is thrilled to create lots more during her final year at BOHS.
Jacob An
Jacob An, Photographer
Jacob got his first camera last December, and has been developing his photography skills by capturing the beauty of everyday things through landscape and portrait shots. His hobbies include flying airplanes, Muy Thai kickboxing, playing the bass guitar, and scripting games.
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  • Samuel SteinmetzJan 19, 2024 at 5:42 pm

    I am very proud of my mom’s achievement. Her dedication to her students and her craft is inspiring!

  • RJan 19, 2024 at 3:43 pm

    She is such a joyous person and inspires me to be the best i can be!