Raised in Plymouth, Beverley Turner considers herself a Montgomery Countian since she's lived here most of her life.

She loves our area because the "people are so friendly and supportive!" Considering herself extremely lucky to have been an at-home mom with her four children (John, David, Robert and Marcia) she is about to retire from her exciting occupation of the teacher of foods and personal improvement of 30 plus years. Bev is an amazing teacher, spending her whole career in the South school system. She is full of energy and fantastic ideas.

When students leave Mrs. Turner's class, they know the whole realm of cooking a meal, planning for it, saving money by making the best deals, setting the table, cooking properly, cleaning-up and of course the delightful part of enjoying what is created!

Goals of Bev's are to keep her students up-to-date, teach them how to stay healthy, have real, hands-on life experiences and to serve their community. The latter is one of the aspects of Beverley Turner that amazes me the most.

Her students write their own grants, give thousands of dollars away (Red Cross; MDA; March of Dimes; Crisis Shelter; Hurricane victims and so many more) and bake homemade goodies (their specialty is croutons) to sell. I have had the elite pleasure of enjoying more than one of their club meals they have served throughout the years and her Southmont classes have even done some catering (100# of noodles for Pace Dairy; teacher meals; cookies for Day Care centers).

She feels great each time she's asked in the hall, "Are you selling anything today?" From their sales, the students have purchased all their equipment, including bread makers, stoves, and microwaves.

Not only has Mrs. Turner taught foods, but she teaches it with varied aspects such as how to use unusual equipment not found in a lot of kitchens, like an apple peeler. Her students can, freeze, make jellies and jams and even know how to dehydrate when they complete her classes. Many of their apples to make various recipes come from the FFA when they throw away bruised apples in the yearly fruit sale. I've watched Mrs. Turner wheel and deal in regards to supplies "for her kids" and it is quite a treat!

Bev says that great discipline is needed around the equipment and she is a disciplinarian, yet she tries to treat each student fairly and that most of those in her class want to be there. She loves to have the students change recipes and see what new ones they can create. Taking a recipe, they change and develop their own and many of the dishes they make in classes have been made just that way.

The Turner children have had interesting lives like Mom. John lives in Eu Claire, Wis., and works in the sales department of Martin Trucking. David lives nearby and Bev has his two children in class this year. Robert is teaching in a mission school in Taichung, Taiwan, and daughter, Marcia, is currently a stay-at-home mom with a five-year-old and twin two-year-olds. Mrs. Turner plans to enjoy those grandkids and do things she's not been able to do for the last 30 some years.

Bev attends Calvary Chapel and told me that her main activity is Volunteers for Mental Health in Montgomery County. In fact, she has been president for so many years that she has forgotten just how many! The Christmas Gift drive is the group's main focus. Last year they gave sacks of gifts to nearly 180 individuals in Nursing Homes, Group Homes, ASI, Crisis Shelter, and some individuals living on their own. It is sad to know that people who receive a gift sack have no one else who remembers them. Their other main project is giving counseling vouchers for Montgomery County students who are recommended by school counselors for therapy.

As for me, KBZ, I've always admired Bev Turner's teaching and her as a person. I had a fun, entertaining talk with Bev at Pizza Hut during dinner and loved writing about this teacher I've respected for so long. Hope you all enjoyed reading about this week's amazing subject in "Around the County!"

Karen Zach's column, Around The County, appears each Thursday in The Paper of Montgomery County.