Tiffany Lewis was introduced to NOCTI by her school’s administration early in her culinary arts instructional career. Just two months into her position, her students took their first NOCTI assessments. Tiffany has been a culinary instructor now for 11 years and has been a NOCTI Subject Matter Expert (SME) for five years. She has shared her expertise on cut score projects and most recently served on an SME team to review the Culinary and Food Preparation Foundations credential.
When asked to describe her experience with NOCTI in her SME role, she stated, “NOCTI’s extensive research and use of SMEs have been a helpful guide to ensure I stay on track with what is most important for students to learn. I appreciate the blueprints that help students see how each standard area is weighted. The post-test scores and information provided gives both the students and me direction on where we are strong and areas that could stand some improvement.”
“Once I became aware that being an SME for NOCTI was a thing, it was out of general curiosity that I applied to become an SME for NOCTI,” says Tiffany. “Once I experienced the test review process, I saw the value in making myself available to assist. Not only am I helping the industry, but I am helping my students and myself.”
Tiffany plans to continue to provide her expertise in various projects as an SME for NOCTI. Her extensive experience in the culinary industry has provided her with a wealth of knowledge that can be shared with the entire profession to help prepare the next generation of culinarians. Tiffany’s advice to someone considering involvement in a NOCTI test revision or development project is that it is a worthwhile investment of time. “It has been a great tool for myself and my students. It is relevant and comprehensive to the culinary arts pathway I teach,” she explains.
How did Tiffany end up in the culinary field? “As I watched others tolerate jobs they hated, I was very adamant in making sure the vocation I chose would be one I loved, so I chose culinary arts. Having a family and running a business made me want to pursue even higher education so I could teach hospitality online and create more flexibility in my schedule. Getting those degrees led me to teach in person which I enjoy more than the online platform,” says Tiffany. Tiffany holds a Master’s in Hospitality Administration and is currently working on her PhD in Holistic Nutrition.
Tiffany loves all things with health and wellness as it relates to the physiology of the body and how the mind impacts the body. In her free time, she enjoys making pottery. Lately, she has been focused on making oversized bowls. Another therapeutic hobby is sewing where she is learning to make chef coats for her senior students.
To Tiffany, the most rewarding thing about teaching high school students is being able to provide encouragement, support, and be a positive influence to students. Thank you for your work with NOCTI, Tiffany! You deserve the “SME Spotlight!”
Interested in becoming a NOCTI Subject Matter Expert? Apply online here and submit your resume. Projects for 2023 are coming soon!