I am pleased to announce that the 2010 Wilton Method Instructor of the Year is none other than Stephanie De La Cerda â€“ her fourth consecutive win!
Stephanie has been a WMI at the Michaels store in Brownsville, Texas for over eight years, and she taught 2,615 students last year. With a lifetime teaching total of over 7,000 students, she just keeps getting better!
Rather than me going on and on about her achievements, I thought youâ€™d enjoy hearing directly from our winner. Hereâ€™s some insight from Stephanie on how she keeps up the Wilton magic:
Wilton: How did you become a WMI?
Stephanie: I took Wilton classes in the summer of 2002 and became a Wilton Method Instructor in November of that year. After completing Course 1, my WMI insisted that I fill out the on screen application. Upon completing my Course 3, I decided to take her advice and applied. Three weeks later, I submitted my portfolio to a Wilton Supervisor and became a WMI.
Wilton: What do you do to fill classes?
Stephanie: My monthly schedule, for the most part, remains the same from month to month. I utilize in-store promotions as well as demonstrations. I keep project classes current and up-to-date and also offer them for different holidays and occasions. Being so close to the Mexican border affords us many opportunities to â€ścelebrateâ€ť and have â€śFiestas.â€ť
Wilton: What do you love about being a WMI?
Stephanie: My most memorable experience of being a WMI is being part of â€śmaking memories happen.â€ť I love watching students accomplish something they never imagined creating. Past students have called me their â€śWilton cheerleader!â€ť I encourage every student (and no two students are the same) to excel and do their very best.
Wilton: What inspires you to be the WMI you are? What keeps you going?
Stephanie: The passion and dedication for my job is what inspires me to be the best instructor. My motivation and drive comes from not settling for less. Witnessing the delight in my studentsâ€™ faces when they create that cake, cupcake or cookie is quite rewarding to me. I want my students to be the best they can be. I want to know I have made a difference in their lives!
Wilton: Advice to those WMIs wanting to increase their enrollment?
Stephanie: If an instructor is having a difficult time filling classes, I suggest they have a self-assessment: What would I like to do? How can I become a better instructor? Evaluate your teaching abilities. Make teaching FUN! DO IT THE WILTON WAY!
Wilton: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Stephanie: Since the age of three, I remember being mesmerized by the art of cake decorating. I can recall asking for an Easy-Bake Mini Oven because I loved baking and decorating mini cakes for my grandfather. I loved making people smile by the gift of giving. Who would have imagined that I would have my career destined for me at such a young age? Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would be such a great example to all Wilton Method Instructors. I consider it such a great honor.
I hope you found Stephanieâ€™s words as inspiring as I did! Stephanieâ€™s award for this achievement is a two-week Master Course at the Wilton School of Confectionery Art in Darien, IL. We look forward to her continued success in 2011!