Award Winner 2019

Carl Perkins Community Service Award-State: Renae Spangler 

Renae Spangler teaches Family and Consumer Sciences at Campus High School in Haysville, Kansas. She is in her 13th year of teaching at Campus, but has taught a total of 29 years. She teaches CTE classes in the Education and Training Pathway, Early Childhood Education and Services Pathway and some courses from the Fashion, Apparel and Interior Design Pathway. One of the favorite parts of her job as an FCS teacher is advising the Campus High School FCCLA Chapter. The FCCLA Chapter at Campus is a busy one that plans activities that focus on building strong families and teen leadership development through community service projects. FCCLA STAR Events are an important part of her curriculum and projects are integrated into the classroom. Over the past ten years, Renae has had over 22 students compete in STAR Events at the national level. She is proud of the hard work and dedication that her students have for FCCLA. Campus FCCLA were the national champions in the FCCLA/ Life Smarts Knowledge Bowl Competition in 2017 and earned the national STOP the Violence Award for their Human Trafficking project in 2015. Over the years, Mrs. Spangler has had 26 district officers, five state officers and one national officer. The highlight of her career was when her son was elected as a national FCCLA officer. As his advisor, she was able to share in the experience and serve as a national officer advisor. 

Renae is currently the President of the Kansas Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences and the current Treasurer of the Kansas FCCLA Alumni and Associates. She served as a member of the project task force for the Kansas Building Healthy Families Teacher Resource. Additionally, she was the recipient of the 2013 Home Baking Association’s Educator Award. This was awarded for the service learning project entitled “Baking with Friends” which was a nutrition mentoring program with high school students and elementary students. 

New Teacher of the Year-State: Brandon Callaway 

Brandon Callaway was born in Girard, Kansas and grew up on a small farm outside of town. Callaway was very active in his high school extra-curriculars, and his passion and dedication in FFA and love for agriculture led him to pursue a career in Agriculture Education.

After graduating from Girard High School in 2009, Callaway attended Kansas State University where he graduated in 2014. He spent three years rebuilding the FFA program in Beloit, Kansas and had the opportunity to return home and replace his retiring FFA Advisor. He currently teaches at Girard High School in his 5th year of the profession, and resides near his childhood home with his wife, Shelby. 

New Teacher of the Year-Affiliate: Cathy Caylor 

Cathy Caylor is in her fourth year as the FCS instructor at Altoona-Midway High School. In August 1995, Cathy married Mike Caylor. She also graduated from Pittsburg State University. In the fall of 1995 with her B.S. in Elementary Education, Minors in Special Education, and Early Childhood. Cathy chose to stay home and raise her three children and ran a successful in home daycare. Her three children are Michael Allen, Ashley Caylor and Jon Caylor. Once all the children were in school Cathy decided to go to work, so she was a childcare licensing surveyor through Neosho County Health Department. In 2013 Cathy took a position as a school cook with Altoona-Midway. In 2015 Altoona-Midway decided to reopen their FACS department. Cathy decided that since she loved every aspect of FACS that she would take the Praxis exam, and reactive her teaching license. Cathy was hired for the position part-time, and had the challenge of rebuilding the program. Two years later the teaching position was moved to full time, with a growing and thriving program. School years 2016-2018 Cathy enrolled in the mentoring program that Pittsburg State University offered. Summer 2018 Cathy decided to return to Pittsburg State University to obtain her masters degree in CTE. Cathy has been a member of KAT-FACS and K-ACTE since 2016. 

New Teacher of the Year-Affiliate: Aubrey Weigel 

Aubry Weigel is a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Wichita High School West in Wichita, Kansas. She is from Hutchinson, Kansas where she attended Hutchinson High School. Aubry attended Kansas State University and earned her Bachelors of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Aubry earned her Master’s Degree through Wichita State University in Learning and Instructional Design. She earned her ESOL Endorsement through Newman University. Aubry mentors other Family and Consumer Sciences teachers through KCCTE (Kansas Center for Career and Technical Education). Aubry sponsors both FCCLA and Educators Rising where her students have competed and presented at conferences. She also has a passion for curriculum development, which has driven her to present at local and national conferences such as UAC, K-ACTE, and ACTE. Aubry has previously participated in externships through her school district that have given her industry experience to take back to the classroom. Aubry values her CTE program as well as students. She goes above and beyond to develop professionally, make connections with other CTE teachers and students, and provide engaging instruction. Aubry currently resides in Wichita, Kansas with her husband and daughter. 

Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year-Sate: Greg Belcher 

Dr. Greg Belcher is currently a professor at Pittsburg State University and the director for the Kansas Center for Career and Technical Education. His main duties as a faculty member are advising and teaching undergraduate and graduate certification and degree seeking students (who are employed as teachers within CTE programs) at the secondary and post-secondary level. As the director of the KCCTE, he oversee all activities in the area of Technical Workshops, Resources, Mentoring and Coursework provided for CTE teachers in the state of Kansas. Before he entered into education, he worked in the welding and diesel industry. His first teaching position was in a welding program at the community college level. During his time in this position, he found that he enjoyed working with new teachers and decided to become a teacher educator. He completed his doctorate at The Ohio State University and since completing this degree, he has been teaching at Pittsburg State University for the past 23 years in the Career and Technical Teacher Education unit. 

Over the past thirty years, he has served in multiple local CTE advisory boards, state and national CTE committees that support CTE, and teaching courses for CTE teachers. One of the endeavors he is most proud of is being associated with the development and implementation of the Kansas Center for Career and Technical Education. Through this center, CTE teachers can grow professionally by further developing their technical skills, can download resources to be used in the CTE Pathways, can be mentored by practicing CTE teachers, and finally can take coursework that further develops them as a CTE instructor. 

Teacher of the Year-Sate: Kenneth Youngblood 

Kenneth (K.C.) Youngblood is the Agricultural Education and FFA Advisor at Columbus Unified High School in Columbus, Kansas, a position he accepted in 2002 after graduating from Missouri State University. K.C. lives just outside of Columbus with his wife Courtney, daughter Karsyn (16), and son Cole (13) on a small farm where they raise a few head of cattle. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and attending cattle expositions with family. 

K.C. has been a member of the KAAE, K-ACTE, NAAE, and ACTE for seventeen years. In 2012 he was awarded the K-ACTE Young Teacher of the year and in 2015 he received the Columbus teachers Golden Apple award. Through the years he has enjoyed many successes of student achievement in Career Development Events on the state and national levels. He has fielded state winning and national teams in Poultry, Horse, Livestock, Meats and Dairy Cattle evaluation. 

He has served the school by being on the Building Leadership team and Negotiating team. He was an assistant Football coach for three years, Jr. High Boys Basketball assistant coach three years, Jr. High Girls Basketball head coach three years and just finished his first year as the High School Girls Head Varsity coach, in which they played in the Class 3AState Tournament. 

Lifetime Achievement: Stella Tharp 

Mrs. Stella Tharp has been an instructor at Ottawa High School for the past 19 years after previously working in social services. Stella teaches programs in Early Childhood and Family and Consumer Sciences as well as acting as the Director of Career and Technical Education Programming.


Mrs. Tharp serves on a number of community committees and advisory boards to help develop early childhood education as well as the power of play in learning. 

Award Winners 2018

Marla Sterling, Teacher of the Year - State

Marla Sterling is a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher at USD 447 - Cherryvale/Thayer Schools. Her program has an articulation agreement with Pittsburg State.

Sterling participates in multiple professional development opportunities to stay current in her field. Most recently, she attended a mental health first aid training on student mental health and warning signs of suicide with students.  She also attended Jana’s Campaign Training and implemeted the Safe Dates curriculum into her middle school and from the Academic Innovations Conference has incorporated Success 101 into the curriculum throughout the district.

Sterling advises the local FCCLA chapter of which her members have excelled by receiving many silver and gold medals in both district and state STAR Events. Two years have seen members qualify and compete at national STAR Events. Miss Sterling has had four District Officers during her tenure as the FCCLA adviser.

Sterling served as K-ACTE President in 2015-2016, KATFACS President 2014-2015, District J-West FCCLA Adviser, ACTE National Leadership Fellow, and has participated in a number of community activities.

Aubry Weigel, New Teacher of the Year - State

In the early stages of her career as a Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for Wichita Public Schools, Weigel strives to provide her students meaningful experiences in the classroom. After they presented at the Educators Rising Conference in Emporia, Weigel began the Teach and Train pathway at her school which provides students the opportunity to observe at a dual language magnet school that taught ages K-8 and “teaches” administration and teachers within their school. Students that take courses in the Teach and Train pathway have the option of taking a course concurrently through Wichita State University, where Weigel is a concurrent educator. 

Weigel has sponsored various clubs such as FCCLA, Educators Rising, and STUCO. She has had multiple students participate in STAR Events. She provided students opportunities to present at leadership conferences, this year four students presented at an Educators Rising conference in Emporia. 

She received her Master’s degree through Wichita State University in Learning and Instructional Design, which fits her passion of curriculum development perfectly. She was approached by her district to work with other CTE professionals to create semester course curriculum in areas of Financial Literacy, Culinary Essentials, and Career and Life Planning.

Laura Klenda, Young Teacher of the Year - State

Returning to her home community, Laura Klenda has been teaching agriculture education at Centre High School for nine years. Klenda was fortunate to be able to teach with her former Ag Ed Instructor for two years prior to becoming the Ag Ed Department Lead Teacher and FFA Advisor.

Klenda is always looking for new approaches of instruction to engage students in learning about the agriculture around them and how it affects them. The incorporation of project based learning is a huge part of the instruction that takes place in her classroom and laboratory areas. By providing students with these hands on opportunities to figure out how things work, Klenda helps to stimulate their memory and really learn the objectives for each class. It is her belief that students need to be able to think on their feet and do something about their learning, all while taking into consideration those around them. 

Klenda takes time each year for professional development opportunities that will improve herself as an educator and ultimately benefit her students, by them gaining the most from these experiences. She serves on the In-Service Committee for the Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators, which coordinates Ag Ed Professional Development for Kansas Ag Teachers twice a year. Klenda also serves as the Membership Director for the organization.

Sonya Roberts, Carl Perkins Community Service Award - State 

With 26 years experience as an educator, currently serving as Ag Ed Instructor and FFA Advisor for USD 410 Hillsboro, Sonya Roberts leads an FFA chapter of 30 members with a mission of giving back to their community. Each year the chapter has a goal to increase contributions to the Hillsboro community. For 12 years the chapter has conducted a blood drive with the American Red Cross and in partnership with local banks the chapter participated in the Angel Tree program providing gifts for local children and seniors. In the past 10 years, students have also provided backpacks and supplies for children with Main Street Ministries. More recently, FFA members have participated in a recycling program, provided a petting zoo for preschool and kindergarten students and residents of a nursing home. 

This past summer, FFA chapter officers retreated in the Kansas City area and participated in a service project at a local soup kitchen working the lunch shift. Officers performed tasks of washing dishes, waitressing, busing tables and clean up after serving. They plan to make this a part of their annual retreat. 

The current enrollment in the Hillsboro Ag-Ed Program is 54 students in seven courses. Roberts was trained several years ago to teach Biotechnical Engineering, part of the Project Lead The Way curriculum, and was just recently trained to teach Environmental Sustainability, this course is a part of the Engineering Pathway offered to students. Once students have completed the Ag Welding course, they are encouraged to enroll their senior year in the Hutchinson Community College Welding course and receive their welding certification while enrolled in high school.

Pam Busch, Carl Perkins Community Service Award - Affiliate

Pam Busch is a Family and Consumer Science Instructor at Neodesha High School. She has made many partnerships with business in her community that have greatly benefited her students and program. With these connections, she has been able to provide her students with learning that will influence their future careers such as hosting mock interviews and job shadowing.

Busch has engaged students in numerous community service projects, including the cutting-edge “Cell Phone Sound Off” project by her Nutrition and Wellness class participated after studying and discussing the effects of technology on today’s youth. The class set a goal of 60% of all students grades 7-12 to turn in their phones Monday through Friday to encourage students to actually talk to each other and to stay off of their technology.  Teachers and Staff were also invited to participate in this project. As an incentive, any student that participated all 5 days put their name in the drawing for $100, plus every student received an extended lunch. The teachers were also put in a separate drawing for $100. One of the five days the class reached their 60% goal. The remainder of the week the percentages were from 55 to 59%, which they felt were still very good. 

Along with another adviser from Fredonia that began the curriculum, Busch has helped present workshops across the state promoting the new Junior High FACS curriculum. She has also been asked by the State FCCLA adviser to help train other new advisers and District Advisers for the past two years to make them more successful with their student membership. 

Jennifer Whitley, Lifetime Achievement Award - State

Jennifer Whitley has been a member of K-ACTE since 1985 and has served in numerous capacities during that time. She served a Vice President and President of her disctict and represented FCCLA on the KATFACS Executive Council two 3-year terms. 

She is currently a Family Consumer Science Teacher at USD 345-Seaman. Whitley became instrumental in the development of a 7th-12th grade curriculum so that students in all buildings were using the same curriculum and resources. In addition, she was instrumental with the initial development and implementation of the Teach and Train Pathway serving on the committee of teachers, college advisors and state department members in creating the standards and guidelines. 

Since 1994, Whitley has been the FCCLA Advisor within her school, and with her encouragement and support, she has assisted 22 students becoming district officers, 10 district presidents, five state officers and five peer education members. Many of her former students have also served at the state level either as a State Officer or on the Peer Education team. During her time as Chair of a peer education team, they developed the initial Calendar of Conversation earning the first $400 ever earned by a team.

Award Winners 2017

Young Teacher of the Year (State): John Bergin

John Bergin is an Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor at Mission Valley High School, in Eskridge, KS. He will be entering his ninth year of teaching Ag Ed this fall.


Last fall, Mission Valley was recognized as the National Outstanding Middle and Secondary Program of the Year Award. John teaches three CASE classes and incorporates STEM foundations in every course he teaches. The program is very well rounded in the three-circle model of Ag Education. The FFA Chapter has a nationally recognized program of activities and is strong in several career development events. John’s favorite FFA events include Agricultural Sales, Dairy Cattle, and BotsKC (battle bots). Mission Valley has received 10 state level proficiency award winners and three national finalists over the last three years.


Helping advance and advocate for the profession is a passion of John’s. As a CASE Master Teacher, John facilitates conferences for agricultural educators across the nation in specific content areas. He also serves as the KAAE Legislative co-chair to advocate for public policy that is in the best interest of Ag Ed and CTE.


John is very interested in seeing CTE work together to best build a strong workforce. He helps his wife, Gina, with her FCCLA chapter at Mission Valley and has served as a chaperone and judge at State Leadership Conference. John and Gina have a two-year-old, Andy, with a second child on the way. As a family, they enjoy cheering on KSU and Mission Valley Athletics. 

Young Teacher of the Year (Affiliate): Linda Swan

Linda Swan likes to tell her students, she is an “old” new teacher, having entered teaching rather late in life. She was a newspaper reporter and columnist having graduated with high distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism in 1987. Later she entered youth-related work through her community and church which sparked her interest in education. Returning to college, she decided to teach in a field that would allow her to help students be successful in the areas of life that affect us all: handling relationships, money, health and children.


Swan graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kansas State University in 2011 with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences education. Her full-time teaching career began in the fall of 2011 at Udell Middle/High School. Currently, she is in her second year as FACS teacher at El Dorado High School where she started an FCCLA Chapter, and is working to strengthen her school’s Career and Technical Education programs and prepare students for the challenges and joys of adult life. She has been a Vice President for KATFACS for District I and recently started a 3-year term in support of District I FCCLA, currently serving as Assistant Adviser. She serves on her school district’s Tech Cadre, MTSS Team and Strategic Planning Committee.


Linda has been married to Michael Swan for 25 years and enjoys being mother to two college-aged children, William and Katherine. 

New Teacher of the Year (State): Lauren Van Allen

Lauren is the Agricultural Educator for Udall Middle/High School. She was hired in 2012 to restart the Agriculture Department, which had been dropped several years prior due to funding. Lauren is currently teaching seven courses throughout a six-hour school day. Students are offered courses in the Agriculture Science and Power, Structural, and Technology pathways. Her classes are full with 41% of the high school students in FFA.


In the classroom, Lauren teaches by incorporating three aspects, discussion, demonstration and application. Through education and learning students are given the tools to develop a deeper level of critical thinking, enabling them to problem-solve and endure different obstacles in the future. Her hope is that she will assist her students in developing a passion for agriculture and that they will work to advocate and education others about the industry. She strives to engage students in inquiry-based learning, in addition to project-based learning activities such as Veterinary Urinalysis, Floral Design Portfolios, Animal Feed Creation, Welding Projects Portfolios, and the Biotechnology in Agriculture Project.


Lauren’s students have become very competitive in district and state CDEs. Her chapter members won the inaugural state Novice Parliamentary Procedure Contest and participated in the SAEP National Invitational Contest. Her students are also involved in many local activities such as the Ag Reading Buddies Program, Labor Auction, Day on the Farm, Pink Out and Doggie Dash 5k for the local humane society. Students have also started the Ag Scholar’s Program to recognize members who excel in their educational endeavors. The chapter attends organized events such as State FFA Convention, SCCL, and National FFA Convention.


She is currently working on coursework for her Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education through the Great Plains Ag*Idea Program, giving her the opportunity to collaborate with Agriculture teachers and professors across the country. She has also been involved in the KAAE Affiliate, serving as co-chair of the KAAE Public Relations Committee as well as is a member of the NAAE Marketing Committee. 

New Teacher of the Year (Affiliate): Caitlin Callaway

Caitlin is the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher at Louisburg High School in Louisburg, Kansas. She graduated from Pittsburg State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education with a major in Family and Consumer Sciences. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Career and Technical Education with an emphasis in Family and Consumer Sciences, also from Pittsburg State University. Caitlin has a true appreciation for Career and Technical Education and has seen the impact it can have on the lives of students.


Caitlin started an FCCLA program at Louisburg High School in 2015 and serves as the advisor. For the first time in Louisburg history, she had FCCLA members competing in Star Events. All participants received either a gold or silver award and qualified for state. This year at Nationals her students received gold.


Caitlin and her members host a “Parent’s Nigh Out” event every other month for the community of Louisburg. For this event, flyers are sent out to the community for parents to sigh their children up for a night of fun. FCCLA members plan activities according to the age group they have been assigned and a foods group is in charge of safely creating a nutritious dinner for the children. The FCCLA also collaborates with the art department to host a “Painting and Pasta” event for the community. For this event, members prepare and serve guests as the art department guides guests through a painting. Caitlin’s culinary classes and FCCLA members collaborate with the LHS food service to host an annual “Senior Citizens Thanksgiving Dinner.” With an attendance range of 200-220, this dinner is one that senior citizens look forward to each year. Other projects include the Louisburg TedXYouth, school musicals and plays, Dining in the County, Blazin the Burg 5k and adopting families at Christmas. 

Teacher of the Year (State): Mike McConnell

Mike McConnell is the CTE teacher of Trade and Industrial Education for Newton High School where he has created a system in which students are given standards checklists that outlines specific task completion assignments. As students complete each task they are graded and the level of mastery is indicated on the sheet. This process is done individually for every student. This system of delivery requires instruction that is flexible, differentiated and personalized to meet diverse student learning styles, needs and interests.


Mike has completed coursework at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Troy, Ohio, where he earned his American Welding Society Certification. This certification licensed him to become a certified welding inspector. The Newton High School welding program is a full-fledged industry welding program that is supported by Hutchinson Community College. While in the program, students receive high school credit and can, upon completion of the program, ear 32 college credit hours free of charge and their AWS welding certificate.


An initiative that is being spearheaded is a new partnership with a local company, Excel Industries, a leading manufacturer of turf-care products. Excel is interested in creating an internship program that allows students to work at their company in the afternoon and evening hours. The student would commit to three weeks of 15-hour work-weeks for a total of 45 hours on the job. This position would be a paid internship. Students would be required to attend safety meetings prior to employment in addition to any training that is needed. After the 3-week internship, Excel can determine next steps for the student in terms of employment. The benefit being there is no commitment to hiring, all while determining the employability skills of the student without investing much money or time. The student benefits from the hands-on experience in the career field.


Mike also works with local businesses to create field trip opportunities and bring in industry experts to observe and talk with students. Through these partnerships students found employment immediately following high school graduation. 

Teacher of the Year (Affiliate): Jed Strnad

Jed Sturnad was the Agricultural Education Instructor and FFA Advisor at Russell High School. During his tenure at Russell High School he developed and adapted a curriculum for use in his program. Courses included Intro to Agriscience, Animal Science, Plant and Soil Science, Food Service, Ag Mechanics/Advanced Ag Mechanics and Ag Communication & Leadership.


In Food Science, Jed was able to integrate hands-on opportunities to spark interest in many up and coming careers. In Ag Mechanics, he was able to set aside some traditional “welding time” or Small Gas Engines for more cutting-edge technology such as global positioning and drones.  Hydroponics and Tropical plants were added to Plant Science in place of a portion of traditional crop production. He also began a push toward a paperless classroom with the use of Edmodo for assignments, tests and quizzes, as well as file sharing and peer editing with Google Drive.


Throughout his career, Jed has developed relationships with local businesses including the local co-op, beterinarians, auto parts stores, etc. The result being support for the program and FFA Chapter that allows students to have success in a variety of areas. The co-op has donated fertilizer and chemicals to benefit the school crop farm; veterinarians have provided not only assistance and expertise at the school livestock facility, but also participated in nationwide support programs, resulting in funding for the FFA Chapter.


Over the course of his career, Jed has been asked or have volunteered to host numerous FFA Career Development Events including Land and Homesite Evaluation, Food Science Technology, Entomology and Livestock Selection leading to high student achievement in these areas. In the area of Livestock Selection, he has had numerous district and regional winners and placing teams as well as one State Championship team and a fourth place National Team.


Jed has had the support of the Russell FFA Alumni to assist with training contest teams as well as contributions to make post-secondary education possible for more students through scholarships. In the last 10 years, their scholarship offerings have group from a yearly $250 offering to between $3,000-$4,000 now.

Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year: Dr. David Thompson

Dr. David Thompson is an Assistant Professor at Kansas State University in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Dr. Thompson was initially brought into the program to work with the continual development of the senior internship program. Through the years, the program has developed to the point that it is seen by many other Family Science programs as being exemplary.


Just this spring, Dr. Thompson, adapted the program so that students may go anywhere they choose to do their internships. The use of Zoom live video enabled students to do internships in London, Chicago, and various other sites well away from campus. Teaming up with the Campus Career Center, students are provided training and support in job searching, proven highly effective with 97% of graduating seniors either employed or enrolled in graduate programs last year.


During his time at Kansas State, Dr. Thompson has helped a new major develop Student Learning Outcomes and effective means of measuring those outcomes in an assessment mechanism that has won University awards. Program assessment is based on a variety of measures, including internship site supervisor reports, rubrics developed for class assignments, and numerous points of data from seniors’ portfolios. He was a key member of a team that developed an undergraduate Research Methods class which began last year.


In the last year, Dr. Thompson was asked to take the initiative in developing a minor to complement the Family Studies and Human Services major. This minor allows students from across campus, including future FACS and public-school teachers, to gain a greater background and understanding of human development and the ecological and systematic forces impacting the individual and family. This measure has passed the University Academic Affairs and will soon be available. 


Recently, Dr. Thompson has provided opportunities for secondary students to experience college life in a “job-shadowing” program. Students interested in FACS or other careers can coordinate with Dr. Thompson and he brings them to campus for a full day introduction to members of the Dean’s Staff, Program Directors, and sit in on class sessions to witness the role of an instructor, and interview faculty of interest to their future plans.


In 2015, Dr. Thompson was recognized by the National Association of Teacher of Family and Consumer Sciences as their “Champion for FACS,” largely due to his role in bring local, state and national leaders in career and technical fields.


Administrator of the Year: Cathy Mong

Cathy Mong is a Teaching Specialist in Family and Consumer Sciences Education for Wichita Public Schools. Cathy’s work in developing standards-aligned and integrated curricula begins with her work on the state level where she participates in the Kansas State Department of Education Family and Consumer Sciences Higher Education Program Standards Review to ensure that new college graduates and potential employees have the skills and knowledge to teach. She has also participated in a yearly visioning committee to help align and guide FCS education from middle school, through high school, college and professional development opportunities. High state standards are maintained by working on the pathway review committee for each of the five pathways under her responsibility. At the district level, engaging instruction is facilitated by her maintenance of pacing guides, outlines, and instructional resources for twenty-seven Family and Consumer Sciences classes.


For the last six years, Cathy, has served on the YMCA Childcare and Camp Board. The Greater Wichita YMCA, a community partner, manages licensed child development centers in seven of the district’s high schools. Each year, approximately 150 CTE early childhood pathway students obtain training and experiences in these facilities.


Recently, Cathy’s passion for teaching drove her to push for the recognition of Educators Rising to help provide opportunities for students to explore teaching careers and to provide quality teachers for the future.  She has turned her focus on establishing a new CTSO for Kansas – Educators Rising. Due to her commitment to FCS and teaching as a profession, she has created an opportunity to ensure all teachers and future teachers have a network of like-minded individuals. Through this process, Cathy, served as a state coordinator of regional conferences, taking students to national meetings and contests. She also organized numerous meetings with the national Education Rising Director, KSDE and KS Board of Education. As of January, 2017, Educators Rising is now recognized as a CTSO in Kansas.


Carl Perkins Community Service Award: Jed Strnad

Since beginning his career, one of Jed’s goals has been to have a program that was recognized by the community for the good that it had accomplished. While serving others, students not only learn the value of work, but they also learn the value of giving to something greater than themselves, imparting a sense of satisfaction.  Under his direction, the Russell High School FFA Chapter has completed a variety of community service projects, many of which have worked well.


An example of a community project that has evolved over the years, is volunteering with the food pantry. It began with two to three students volunteering to carry numerous shipments as well as sort and organize food. Over the years, it has refocused to best meet the needs of the pantry with the volunteering occurring during the two busiest times of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Adopt-a-Highway was another program, students are able to clean a 2-mile stretch of I-70 in a little under an hour.


“Feeding Cattle for the Community” has been the longest running program, and has been in place for seven years. Over the course of the project, seven beef animals have been donated to the chapter for the purpose of raising to market weight and then donating the processed animal to the local food pantry. Students are responsible for the feeding and daily care of the animals. The Russell FFA Chapter pays for a portion of the feed, while other funding comes from the Russell County Area Community Foundation. The food pantry has been responsible to secure funding to pay for the processing of the animal. To date, the RHS Ag Program and FFA Chapter has donated seven animals , equating in over 2,200 pounds of ground beef to local families in need through this project.


Lifetime Achievement Award: Marian Cordill

Marian Cordill has retired after 42 years of teaching Family and Consumer Sciences Education. The last 37 years of her career, she taught at Buhler High School, with the first five years at Goodland High School. Throughout her career, she has been an FCCLA Advisor as well as serving three times as a District FCCLA Advisor, each of which were three year terms.


Marian has encountered many changes over the course of her career, from using magazine clippings to iPads, she embraced change in an effort to give her students the best education and class experience possible. In order to advocate for her students, continual change throughout her career was necessary.


In an effort to keep students engaged and learning, Marian, often invited guest speakers from business and industry within the community to share what is available and what they expect to see from their future employees. If available, she often took students to the businesses. Following the unity on job searching in the Career and Life Planning Class, she conducted mock interviews for the students. As a result of those mock interviews, she had a student who got a job from one of the mock interviewers.


At the local level, Marian tried to have her chapter members involved with service-related activities within both school and community along with their FCCLA activities. Over the years, projects have included making table centerpieces for our local Sunshine Meadow retirement home and spending the afternoon playing various cames to interact with the residents; washing windows of downtown merchants; staining the red wood siding at a local church; and cleaning the yards of several of the older residents in town. 

K-ACTE Award Winners 2016

Teacher of the Year (State)Kacey Preston

Teacher of the Year (Affiliate)Jason Larison

New Teacher of the Year (State)Zana Manche

New Teacher of the Year (Affiliate)Jillian Goodwin

Young Teacher of the Year (State)Ashley Weber

Young Teacher of the Year (Affiliate)KaCee Thompson

Postsecondary Teacher of the Year (State)Jennifer Snell

Carl Perkins Outstanding Service Award (State)Kelly Hoelting

Carl Perkins Outstanding Service Award (Affiliate)Bobbi Qualls

Lifetime Achievement Award (State)Dr. Steve Harbstreit

Lifetime Achievement Award (Affiliate)Dr. Sally J. Yahnke

K-ACTE 2014 Award Nominees

Teacher of the Year (State): Kelly Hoelting

Teacher of the Year (Affiliate): Merritta Combs

New Teacher of the Year (State): Jacqueline Gabbert

New Teacher of the Year (Affiliate): Kjerstine Vaughn

Young Teacher of the Year (State): Marla Sterling

Young Teacher of the Year (Affiliate): Laura Priest

Postsecondary Teacher of the Year (State)Julie Dainty

Carl Perkins Community Service Award (State): Larry Lyder

Carl Perkins Community Service Award (Affiliate): Ashley Weber 

Lifetime Achievement Award (State): Joanelle Lucas  

Award of Merit (State): Kansas Council for Economic Education (KCEE) 

2013 Award Winners

Teacher of the Year (State): Bobbie Qualls

Teacher of the Year (Affiliate): Angelle Higbie

Young Teacher of the Year (State): Carmelita Goossen

Outstanding Career and Technical Educator (State): Debra Andres

Outstanding New Career and Technical Educator (State): John Bergin

Outstanding New Career and Technical Educator (Affiliate): Magan Bearman 

Outstanding New Career and Technical Educator (Affiliate): Katy Ulepich

Outstanding Teacher in Community Service (State): Diane Breiner 

Carl Perkins Outstanding Service Award (State): Jim Means 

Policymaker of the Year (State): Senator Steve Abrams  

Award of Merit (State): Kansas Pork Association 

2012 Award Winners

Teacher of the Year (State): Lynette Yevak

Young Teacher of the Year (State): KC Youngblood

Outstanding Career and Technical Educator (State): Gayla Randel 

Outstanding Career and Technical Educator (State): Kacey Preston 

Outstanding New Career and Technical Educator (State): Laura Priest 

Outstanding New Career and Technical Educator (Affiliate): Marla Sterling 

Outstanding Teacher in Community Service (Affiliate): Joe Curran 

Award of Merit (State): Kansas Beef Council 

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