Susan Latta admits that she’s a little biased about the Piedmont School System. She was a part of it for 19 years and enjoyed every minute of it.
During the years she taught at the middle and high school, at various times she taught physical science, biology, and seventh and eighth grade science. But throughout her career she taught a career explorations class. In this class students had a chance to choose about a dozen different careers to try out to see what they might be interested in doing when they grew up.
“I loved working with young people,” said Susan. “I always enjoyed the science field, especially biology.”
Throughout her career, Susan sponsored a student organization which was called the Technology Student Association. Her favorite thing about working with the organization was getting to work with the students one-on-one to prepare to go to the state conference every year.
“I got a chance to work a great deal with the students after school preparing them for their competitions,” she said. “We’ve also had a lot of great parents who have gone over the years as chaperones. My friend, Jamie Miller, at the high school has taken over this program so that we can keep it going for the students. I still get to work with the students and get to go to the conference now as a chaperone. I’ve always loved my students.”
Susan was born in Piedmont and has lived here most of her life. She is the daughter of Harwell and Edna Cunningham.
She and her husband, Lin, were high school sweethearts at Piedmont High. She attended Auburn University and, after she and Lin were married, they moved to Chattanooga. She finished her senior year of college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Later, she earned a master’s degree from Jacksonville State University.
The Lattas celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on June 17. They have three children. Chris and his wife, Kelly live in Jacksonville. Their son, Cade, is 3. Chad lives in Piedmont, and their daughter, Kim, lives in Jacksonville and teaches pre-K in the Piedmont School System. Chris and Chad work at Farmers & Merchants Bank.
Her sister, Kay VanSant, lives in Cherokee County. She is a state and national officer for the Federation of Republican Women and also the Assistance League.
Susan enjoys reading, solving Sudoku puzzles, cross stitch and crocheting, and working in her yard.
She is a member of First United Methodist Church and is active in the church’s prayer shawl ministry. Members make shawls for those who are ill. They also make baby jackets and booties for expectant mothers and towels for couples who are getting married. She is on the Board of Trustees, a member of Circle 8, sings in the Chancel Choir, and is a member of the Handbell Choir.
As a member of Shared Bounty, she joins other women of her church in preparing meals twice a month for those in the community who are ill or confined at home.
She is vice president of her local United Methodist Women and is communications coordinator in the Cheaha District of United Methodist Women.
Susan is also a member of the Town and Country Garden Club, where she has served the last two years as president.
She also likes to cook. “I came from a large family that had a lot of big family dinners,” said Susan. “I’ve always enjoyed family times together. Family is the most important thing to me.”
DADDY’S PEACH ICE CREAM
- 10-12 peaches, peeled
- 2 c. sugar
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 ½ qts. milk
- 2 t. vanilla
Mix peaches and sugar and mash. Add other ingredients and pour into a 4 quart freezer. Double most of the ingredients (except for milk) for a 6 quart freezer. You can substitute strawberries or other fruit.
- 3 lbs. ground chuck
- 1 lg. onion, chopped
- 1 can sliced mushrooms
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 12 oz. wide egg noodles
- 2 – 16 oz. cartons sour cream
- Salt and pepper
Brown ground beef and drain fat. Add onion and simmer until tender. Stir in mushrooms and soup, then add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer while noodles cook. Stir sour cream into meat mixture and simmer just long enough to heat thoroughly. Cook noodles according to directions on package, then drain. Either stir noodles into meat sauce or serve sauce over noodles. (Variation: Serve meat sauce over cooked rice.)
DATE NUT COOKIES
- 1 c. shortening
- 1 c. brown sugar
- ½ c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 t. vanilla
- 2 ¼ c. sifted flour
- 1 t. soda
- 1 t. salt
- 1 pkg. chopped dates
- 1 c. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix shortening, brown sugar and sugar together and blend until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, soda and salt and slowly add to the mixture. When mixed thoroughly, add in the dates and pecans. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Makes about 4 dozen.
HOT CORN DIP
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 can Mexicorn
- 1 can RoTel – Mexican style with lime and cilantro
Soften cream cheese. Drain corn and add to cream cheese. Slowly stir in RoTel tomatoes (with juice) until creamy. Heat mixture. This dip is best served in a small crock pot or heated dip pot so that it can be kept warm. Serve with tortilla chips. (Hint: I usually double the recipe to fill up my dip pot.)