Family/Consumer Science

The main goal of the FCS department is to prepare students for adulthood. This is because whether a student becomes a doctor, race car driver, or restaurant server, it is invaluable to conceptually understand how to cook and care for a family. The department also exposes students to careers within the discipline (ex. Culinary arts, interior design, child development specialist, etc). The department is thrilled to have newly renovated kitchens and labs for students to begin utilizing this year. They are also actively looking for more opportunities for students to gain certifications in their respective industries while still enrolled at the high school level. 

Family/Consumer Sciences Staff

Abby Spears

FCS Teacher

(309) 698-7555

Abby Spears is a part of the Family and Consumer Sciences department and has been a teacher for 10 years, 7 of those being at EPCHS. Mrs. Spears primarily teaches Foods 1, Advanced Baking Principles, Advanced Culinary Principles, and Foundations of Child Development I and II. Originally from Peoria, Illinois, she attended Peoria Notre Dame before earning her Bachelors degree in FACS Teacher Education from Bradley University and her Master’s degree in Education Leadership with Principal Endorsement from Aurora University. Abby shares, “I feel most successful as a teacher when students complete a lab or a project independently with their own creative input, because then I know that I've done my part to prepare them for this task and now I get to see them flourish. I love that EPCHS provides so many opportunities for students to shine both inside and outside of the classroom, and I believe we have a wonderful student body.” Outside of work she enjoys reading, crafting, true crime and traveling, as well as spending time with her two children and many pets. 

Mrs. Spears' Syllabi

Foods I Advanced Culinary Principles Advanced Baking Principles

Cathy Gross

FCS Teacher

(309) 698-7539

Cathy Gross is a part of the Family and Consumer Science department with 25 years of teaching experience, 4 of those being at EPCHS. She primarily teaches Foods I and II classes. Originally from Monticello, Indiana, she attended Twin Lakes Senior High School before earning her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University, where she Majored in Child Development & Nutrition and minored in PE and Sociology. Ms. Gross loves being able to make a difference in the lives of students each day and feels EPCHS is a great place to work. Outside of work, she loves cooking, baking, swimming, hiking, cycling, and spending time with her family

Shawna Martin

FCS Teacher

(309) 694-8630

Shawna Martin is a member of our Family and Consumer Science department and has been a teacher for four years, all at EPCHS. She primarily teaches Human Relations, Interior Design, and Foundations of Child Development 1 & 2. Born and raised in East Peoria, she graduated from EPCHS before earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Science Teacher Education from Bradley University as well as a Master’s Degree in Arts in Curriculum & Instruction, focusing on Trauma and Resiliency from Concordia University Chicago. Shawna is also a National Honor Society advisor and the lead teacher for the Career & Technical Education department. Shawna shared, “I love being back where I went to high school.  I'm one of three generations to have graduated from EPCHS and it feels wonderful to give back to the community and the students of East Peoria.” Outside of work, she loves spending time with her son and family as well as traveling.

Tricia Lambrich

FCS Teacher

(309) 698-7505

Tricia Lambrich is a member of the Business and Family Consumer Science departments with 17 years of experience in Education and 2 years as a teacher at EPCHS. She primarily teaches Introduction to Business and High School 101 courses. Originally from East Peoria, she has an Associate of Science Degree from Illinois Central College and also attended Illinois State University and earned her Career and Technical Educators license in 2022. She shares, “I am a graduate of EPCHS so I have a longtime connection to the school. I care a lot about our students and want them to have a sense of belonging and connection to school.  As a teacher I also want them to succeed and am committed to helping them achieve their goals.” Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband Jeff, her daughter Paige, and her son Brett. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her extended family and friends.