Educator Spotlight: Brenda Osman, 2017 AAFCS Teacher of the Year

By AAFCS Team posted 05-04-2017 12:00 AM

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Making a Difference
:  "Community Engagement - Family and Consumer Sciences Skills in Action"

A proud alumnus of East Central High School (ECHS) and passionate leader in this rural community, Mrs. Brenda Osman has woven Community Engagement into every element of the Family and Consumer Sciences program. East Central FCS students develop a sense of community through a creative, innovative, and multi-pronged approach that includes: FCCLA Membership, Community-Based Service Learning, Peer and Cross-Age Mentoring, and Career Development. Students in all of the FCS courses learn and apply the standards from Career, Community, and Family Connections (Area of Study 1.0) National Standards, which are interwoven into all of Indiana's FCS courses and critical to guiding students' Community Engagement.

How would you describe your community?
Community: Seven townships in rural southeastern Indiana, population 27,000
Sunman Dearborn Community Schools: PK-12 enrollment 3800, 9-12 enrollment 1376
FCS Department: 3 classrooms, 2 teachers, capacity 275/300, current enrollment 282
Pathways: Culinary Arts & Hospitality, Education & Training, Human Services, Fashion and Textiles, and Work Based Learning Capstones for all pathways.

What is the goal of your FCS program?
The overarching goal is to build leaders in families, careers, and the community. This meets the school and community need of having well-rounded community minded individuals and builds a stronger sense of community. Grants and fundraising are utilized to conduct community projects and meet community needs.

What are the significant outcomes of your program?
  • Over 700 students have participated in community engagement activities over the past three years.
  • Students have conducted more than 1500 hours of service each year.
  • 115 East Central students participate in work-based learning experiences in various pathways in the past year.
  • East Central FCS received $38,500 in grants in addition to activity-specific fundraising in the past three years.

How do others describe the difference you are making?
"Mrs. Osman exemplifies the ideals and purposes of Family and Consumer Sciences and truly represents what it means to be an outstanding educator."
-- Rylie Seaver, FCCLA National President & Student, East Central HS

"Brenda is a teacher that understands the holistic approach to education. When a student leaves her classroom, they have not only gained knowledge but are now better citizens because of the service they complete within their community and their understanding of community relationships. Brenda collaborates with countless organizations, businesses, and industries in her community to bring real world learning into her classroom. Through these collaborations, Brenda serves her community in numerous ways and has brought positive attention to many issues on a local, state and national level."
-- Alyson McIntyre-Reiger, CFCS, State Program Leader, IN Dept of Education

Why did you "Say Yes to FCS"?
I have known since I was six years old that I wanted to be a teacher, but I did not know what kind of teacher. As a very involved nine year 4-H member and a student in many Home Economics classes in high school, my local county Extension educator said "why don't you become a Home Economics Teacher?" With that seed planted, I enrolled at Purdue University. I had an outstanding student teaching experience at Rossville Jr. - Sr. High School with Ellen Mosson and was submerged into both the classroom activities and FHA/HERO. I fell in love with FHA/HERO and have had an extremely active FCCLA program ever since I began teaching. I love teaching Family and Consumer Sciences at East Central High School in St. Leon, Indiana, where I grew up!