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Wilcox High School Teacher Mindy Trisko Rises from a Star to a Master

Mindy Trisko has been named FCCLA’s (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) Master Adviser. Trisko is a Fashion Design and Marketing Instructor and FCCLA Adviser at Wilcox High School.

“I was nominated by FCCLA members in our Wilcox chapter,” said Trisko. “First, I was given the title of Star Adviser for Region 5. And then of the regional Star Advisers, one gets chosen to be Master Adviser in the State of California.”

Trisko discussed some of the work she has done advising the Wilcox chapter as well as how she has contributed to enhancing the FCCLA competitions that her students attend.

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“Co-advising a local chapter, with another adviser Rizi Manzon, means coaching students on how to be leaders, how to be professional and how to compete in any family consumer science event,” Trisko said.

Trisko has also given input on making the competitions among FCCLA members a more valuable learning experience.

“We review competitive events by looking at feedback from students and other advisers,” Trisko said. “We see what is working with each event and what we need to change. We may need to change rules for the event. We look at how to make the events relevant to what students are learning in their classes and how to make them more relevant in the workplace in relation to their career.

“For example, I was on the committee where we rewrote the fashion construction event,” Trisko continued. “In previous years, students used to have to bring a sewing machine and sew at the Regional Leadership Meeting. We decided that it’s more valuable for students to construct a garment at home or with a teacher on their own. We decided it’s more valuable for students to talk about what they made. We took out the sewing part and we shifted it to be a presentation about the student’s portfolio and their work instead, which is more relevant to a job in the fashion industry.”

A native of Chicago, Trisko graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel Design. Then she lived in New York for five years where she worked for big name designers. Her first job was with Calvin Klein, where she was a trim buyer for the company’s women’s collection.

“I attended Fremd High School in Illinois,” Trisko said. “My high school fashion teacher was Dr. Marina Scott. I went back to see her and say ‘hi.’ She thought that I was going to apply for the fashion teacher position because their fashion teacher was leaving that year. By then, Dr. Scott had become principal at the school. She encouraged me to go into teaching.”

Trisko went on to take her former teacher’s advice and has been supporting Wilcox students in their fashion design aspirations. For example, each spring, she works with her students to organize a fashion show.

“I want to give my students knowledge and experience about the fashion industry, if this is an area they would be interested in working in someday,” Trisko said.

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