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Kimberly Bell says farewell

Home Economics teacher steps into a new season of life
Mallory Friesen

As a fun class specifically designed to teach students how to navigate adult life, Home Economics offers many lessons on household responsibilities and habits. Kimberly Bell has blessed the Fresno Christian campus with her creative, hands-on lessons that prepare upperclassmen to move out and take care of themselves. After nine years of teaching Home Ec, she is heading into a new chapter of life.

Kimberly Bell grew up in Fresno with her two siblings Kori James and Koby Johns. She attended Bullard High School. In her junior year of high school, Bell started dating her childhood friend Cory Bell. She knew that, even as high school sweethearts, they would be together forever. They were engaged and married before she graduated from college. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bell enjoy a night out at formal.

Bell attended Fresno Pacific University, got her teaching credential and began teaching elementary students in Clovis Unified. When she was approached by the Fresno Christian Principal Amy Deffenbacher in 2016, Bell accepted the offer to teach Home Economics at a high school level.

“I thought I could do that since I ran a house for 18 years,” Bell said.

This was the same year her daughter graduated, and soon after her sister Kori joined the staff. After she got hired, Bell and Deffenbacher talked about creating a new curriculum for the class. She was granted full freedom to teach what she thought was best for students to know. Bell spent a couple of years coming up with the new curriculum including: haircuts, car oil changes, and cooking labs. 

Fast forward to now, she feels confident building a class where the skills she is teaching will be passed down. She has had the opportunity to teach her four nieces and nephews and two of her own children. Her niece, Mallory Friesen, just completed the course.

Deffenbacher appreciates Bell’s impact on the school and flexibility as a teacher.

Mrs. Bell has taken the seed of an idea for the program (broader life skills) and made it happen!” Deffenbacher said. “She has worked in limited spaces and moved around campus and always just made things work. I am very appreciative of this.”

Bell’s heart for students and her desire to see them grow in skill, and love for the Lord and as humans makes her a unique and memorable teacher.

Senior Madison Gallegos gained valuable life skills from participating in Bell’s classroom activities. 

“I’ve learned how to do adult things like cook, pay bills, and sew like that’s all from Mrs. Bell if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t know how to do that,” Gallegos said. “One thing I will always remember about the class is her cooking labs because she gets us out of our comfort zones by putting us with different partners every time.”

Gallegos admires Bell’s positive work ethic and her passion for teaching. 

“I love her heart for working with kids, she is so sweet and you can tell how much she cares about her students,” Gallegos said. “She works so hard and it’s so inspiring to see.” 

Bell spends time with her family at Hume Lake (courtesy of Kimberly Bell)

Leaving Fresno Christian will be a bittersweet for Bell, but with it comes new opportunity.

“I haven’t really had time to think about it in terms of goodbye, yet it’s coming and it’s coming quick,” Bell said. “What’s next for me is getting to spend time with my family without the looming brain power of ‘what do I have to have ready for tomorrow’ or ‘ what shopping do I need to do for the next lab.’ Being prepared is always in the back of my mind so now I get to let that escape my mind, which will free up time to invest in my family.” 

During her free time, Bell enjoys gardening and planting flowers, making bouquets, and giving them to friends and family. This hobby is budding into an opportunity to bless others with flowers. She shares her artistic bouquets on Instagram at @Golden_Poppy_Gardens

When she’s not in the garden, she is spending time with her grandson and taking trips up to Hume Lake with her family. Bell will have more time to explore her interests in this next season of her life.

Kristy Higton, another FC mom, has shadowed Bell this year and plans to take over the Home Ec class next year.

What is your favorite memory of Mrs. Bell? Let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about Mrs. Bell go to Home Ec. teacher looks forward to second year on campus or Haircuts in home economics

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About the Contributors
Kemya Hopkins
Kemya Hopkins, Journalist
Mallory Friesen
Mallory Friesen, Photo Editor
Mallory Friesen returns to The Feather for her second year as a photojournalist hoping to improve her skills. As a ‘lifer’ at Fresno Christian, you can find her on the soccer field or cheer mat. Friesen hopes to attend college and continue her creativity by traveling the world and using her photography skills. 
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  • M

    Mallory FriesenMay 22, 2024 at 11:03 am

    Home Econ gave me the amazing opportunity to learn life skills from my aunt, also known as Mrs. Bell. She has such a big heart for those in and out of her classroom. Every single Thursday on our lab days, I learn a different valuable lesson that will help me in my adult life. I’m so excited to watch her grow even further into the role of a grandma. I love you auntie Kim!

  • K

    Kimberly DeWolfMay 20, 2024 at 7:22 pm

    A great article highlighting an awesome teacher and beautiful soul! Onward to the new season of ‘repurposing’