Growing up, Tevin Shoultz spent hours watching his grandmother in front of the stove, cooking family dinners at home and at her Italian restaurant in Jennings County. From his grandmother’s teachings, Shoultz found his passion for working in the kitchen. Now, he is taking his passion for the kitchen, teaching, and family and consumer sciences to his students at Scottsburg Middle School.
“I started cooking in fifth and sixth grade. I would sit and watch my grandma cook. She would show me little tidbits along the way,” Shoultz said. “I want to get kids comfortable in the kitchen.”
As an eighth-grade student, Shoultz spent his hours after school and on the weekends at his grandmother’s restaurant, Romano’s Pizza in Scipio. He worked there for a few years as a high school student until his grandmother sold the business and retired.
“It made me fall in love with [Italian food],” Shoultz said about working at the family-owned restaurant. “I love how you can take a few things and make it into something — a great final product. I love to make chicken alfredo.”
At home, Shoultz would make his own dishes. He would prepare classic American foods, such as cooking meats on the grill. Also, he would try to perfect his Italian food recipes.
“My grandpa is my guinea pig,” Shoultz said.
However, not all of his dishes turned out the first time or a first few times. Like many cooks, Shoultz made some mistakes along the way in the kitchen. But, he took those lessons he learned by making his dishes better each time. Now, he is sharing those lessons he learned with his students.
“When I first started, I messed up. When you burn something, you have to fix it. You live and you learn. Don’t be afraid to fail,” Shoultz said.
After high school, Shoultz enrolled in the culinary program at Ivy Tech. While at Ivy Tech, he took some introductory teaching classes and discovered how he could connect his love for food and for teaching together.
“When I went to culinary school, I had the ambition to teach. I took an introduction to teaching course and was placed with my FACS teacher from high school. I thought, ‘This is what I want to teach.’,” Shoultz said.
After finishing the culinary arts program at Ivy Tech in Columbus, he transferred to Purdue University to major in education, teaching FACS. He graduated from Purdue in May.
“I was the fourth guy to go through the program,” Shoultz said. “I student taught at a middle school. I loved [the students].”
Because of his love of teaching middle school students, Shoultz was excited when he found out he would be the new FACS teacher at SMS.
“I chose Scott 2 because of the welcoming community that is around and the caring and consideration that is taken for the students. I love being at Scottsburg Middle School because of the welcoming environment, the students, and colleagues,” Shoultz said. “Ever since I began teaching here, I realized this was the place I wanted to be. All of the educators around have developed engaging activities and lessons for students to provide the best education possible.”
In the classroom, Shoultz is helping his students become self-sufficient as they age and become adults. As his students call it, he is teaching them the art of “adulting,” a noun-turned-verb that the American Dialect Society nominated as the Word of the Year for 2015 in the most creative category. The phenomenon with the word was featured as a story in Time magazine in June 2016.
“I say, ‘I’m going to teach you how to adult,” Shoultz said with a smile.
This year, Shoultz’s class will focus on relationships, student success skills, laundry, hand sewing with buttons and patching clothing, babysitting skills, and of course, nutrition and foods.
At Scott County School District 2, Shoultz’s story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.