Want to meet some of the amazing Professional Home Economists featured in the Through the Years Series?
Make sure to register for OHEA annual conference. This year the conference is being held at Brescia University College on March 23, 2019. For more information, visit the OHEA Conference website.
About Joyce DeDecker, P.H.Ec.
I consider myself a lifelong learner. After graduating from the University of Guelph with a degree in Applied Human Nutrition, I worked in the food service industry then took some time off to spend with our family. Later, I continued my education at the University of Western Ontario, graduating with a Bachelor of Education, fulfilling my lifelong dream of teaching Family Studies. I have been the head of the Social Science/Family Studies department at Stratford Northwestern Secondary School in Stratford, Ontario.
I enjoyed my time as past-president of the Ontario Family Studies Home Economics Educators Association (OFSHEEA) and School Board representative on the Ontario Family Studies/Social Science Leadership Council. As an educator, I am very involved with developing inclusive strategies for students with unique learning needs in my Family Studies classes and was awarded Inclusive Educator of the Year in 2017.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
Music has always been a big part of my life. I enjoy singing in the local community choir and learning new instruments. I’ve just started learning how to play the ukulele!
How long have you been an OHEA member and why did you decide to join?
I’ve been an Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA) member for eight years. I got involved with the board of directors right from the start as vice president of membership. In this position, I had the opportunity to speak to various university student groups about the benefits of being an OHEA member. I have assisted with OHEA conferences and was a Presenter at the Canadian Symposium in 2017 where I spoke regarding inclusion of students with special needs in the Family Studies classroom.
I believe that the more you put into something the more you will receive and that has certainly been the case.
How do you feel that being an OHEA member and a P.H.Ec. has benefited you thus far?
Being a member of OHEA has helped me grow as a teacher and an individual. It has allowed me to stay current with changing trends in all areas of Home Economics which I am able to pass on to my students. I have also met many wonderful people from many different walks of life which have allowed me to gain perspective on many levels. Having the opportunity to network with people from across the country is so uplifting.
Where do you see the profession going in the next five to 10 years?
Over the next several years, I see relationships being forged between health care, the agri-food industry and consumers to address common issues and concerns. Such committees can inform consumers of methods of food production and health initiatives.
Professional Home Economists will play a vital role in this endeavor.
What led you to join OHEA?
I wanted to join OHEA because of my passion for everything related to Home Economics. As a young child, I participated in 4-H clubs and this carried through to my university education. My grandmother and mother inspired me from a young age and I have fulfilled my dream. Having this designation is a symbol to others that I am a reliable, committed professional interested in others wellbeing.
I proudly wear my Professional Home Economist (P.H.Ec.) apron when working with my students in the food lab. It is a real conversation starter and I often wear seasonal aprons as well which the students notice. I have a collection of vintage aprons from my grandmother and mother and often receive them as gifts. I reflect on who wore them and how the aprons were used.
A friend once sent me a poem titled Grandma’s Apron which I would like to share:
The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.
She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she’d found.
Or to hide a crying child’s face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.
She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.
She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I’m sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.
by Tina Trivett
I thoroughly enjoy being a teacher but being a Professional Home Economist has added another dimension to my career.
My hope is that the passion I have for Home Economics will inspire my students in their chosen path.