Skip to Content

In Person

Andrew Mogle

Norwalk, Iowa
Professional chef and restaurant manager turned high school culinary arts teacher and "owner" of the student-run Warrior Café

What inspired you to start cooking?

I grew up with five brothers. If you were late for dinner and hungry, you needed to learn how to cook. My mom taught me that life was full of challenges and feeding myself was going to be one.

Biggest disaster in the kitchen?

Running the blender full of milkshake makings without putting the lid on tight.

If you could cook alongside one big-name chef, who would it be?

I have already lived this dream. I got to work with Julia Child in Dallas.

What's more stressful—the dinner rush or the post-class bell rush?

I have never been trampled by hungry customers.

Top Chef or Hell's Kitchen?

Top Chef is more realistic. If [Hell's Kitchen's] Gordon Ramsay actually talked to his employees like he does on television, he would be a very poor man.

What's your favorite dish to prepare?

Anything seafood.

What's the key to tackling culinary lessons with high school students?

Harnessing their excitement for the food lab. They want to create more than they want to study sometimes.

Are there benefits of teaching students to cook, beyond just the culinary lessons?

I tell them all the time: They are using math that counts. If they get these fractions wrong, they still have to eat the results. Also, teamwork and cooperation. The skills they learn here will help them survive after mom and dad ask them to leave home.

Why did you decide to become an NEA member?

I give kids sharp knives and fire. Seems like a no-brainer. I also understand the need for the support and structure NEA provides its members.

Get the recipe for the Warrior Café's bread pudding with rum sauce—the restaurant's most requested dessert.

Diane Albanese

Lewes, Delaware
Middle school English teacher, education news columnist for the local paper and NPR radio affiliate

Why did you start doing column-writing and radio?

To reach parents and the community. To tell our stories.

Do people tell you that you have a great radio voice?

Sometimes. It's a teacher voice!

What's more daunting—news deadlines or new lesson plans?

Lesson plans. I'm always reaching for better material.

Where do your column and radio show ideas come from?

Life, my classroom. A good writer is a good observer.

What's your dream newspaper or radio gig?

Traveling the country recording teacher stories, publishing them, and requiring decision-makers read them before allocating funds.

Why did you decide to become an NEA member?

NEA is the best thing I can do to support and help improve the profession that I love.

See Albanese's newspaper columns and radio commentary at

Photos: Top: Steve Pope; Bottom: Pat Crowe; Right: Susan Frierson Price

Short Takes

Mozell Robinson

Brattonsville, South Carolina

Whether it's a kindergarten classroom, a senior citizen center, a college campus, or a historic plantation, each site is home for Robinson's mix of traditional African-American folktales and personal stories. "Every one of my stories conveys a message to the audience and a lesson about African-American culture," says Robinson, an SCEA-Retired member who retired in 1994 after 38 years of teaching. "I try to get my audience intimately involved with my characters through the use of props and costumes and a variety of voices."

Got a Tip?

Do you have an interesting story idea? Contact section editor Cynthia Kopkowski at 

Published in:

Published In