AAFCS Announces 2018 National Teacher of the Year on Teacher Appreciation Day

By Ms. Gwynn Mason posted 05-08-2018 11:37 AM

Jenny Watson

Alexandria, Va. – May 8, 2018
 – On Teacher Appreciation Day, the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) is officially announcing its AAFCS Teacher of the Award winners, including Jenny Watson, CFCS, family and consumer sciences (FCS) educator, Southeast Middle School, Kernersville, North Carolina, who will be receiving the AAFCS 2018 National Teacher of the Year award. 

 “I am very passionate about my work in family and consumer sciences and encourage others to acquire the skills and knowledge related to becoming a better individual,” said Watson. “If a student can learn to be respectful and kind, the rest will come.”

Sponsored by Goodheart-Willcox Publisher, the Teacher of the Year award recognizes exemplary teachers who utilize cutting-edge methods, techniques, and activities to provide stimulus and visibility to family and consumer sciences in elementary and secondary education. Watson will be honored at the AAFCS 109th Annual Conference & Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 25 during the Opening General Session.

Watson’s award-winning family and consumer sciences program, "COUNTing on Kindness," focuses on improving student’s communication, relationship, problem-solving, and self-improvement skills throughout the lessons and service learning projects. COUNT is an acronym for:

  • C – Community and school awareness
  • O – Others matter
  • U – Unify our school
  • N – Nurture relationships
  • T – Tolerance for diversity

Watson incorporates “COUNT” into every lesson regardless of the content area. For example, when her students are creating housing and interior design projects, they often work with a “client.” Students are evaluated on their ability to communicate, resolve conflicts, and achieve goals. 

As of the 2016-17 school year, due to Watson’s outstanding curriculum and the school-wide events she has coordinated, the administration found improvements in bullying behaviors and witnessed more acts of kindness throughout the school. Since Watson has worked at the middle school, enrollment has also increased significantly for family and consumer sciences classes to the point that they have had to turn students away.

"Mrs. Watson has not only provided me the preparation for my future but also the well-being and kindness in my heart," said Regan Rhymes, FCCLA state officer and student at Southeast Middle School.

About the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)

Based in the Washington, D.C., area, AAFCS is the only association for family and consumer sciences students and professionals across multiple practice settings and content areas. For more than 100 years, AAFCS has focused its mission on providing leadership and support for professionals whose work assists individuals, families, and communities in making more informed decisions about their well-being, relationships, and resources to achieve optimal quality of life. AAFCS members provide research-based knowledge about the topics of everyday life to help create healthy and sustainable families. These topics include human development, personal and family finance, housing and interior design, food science, nutrition and wellness, textiles and apparel, and consumer issues. AAFCS members are located nationwide, and include educators, administrators and managers, human service and business professionals, researchers, community volunteers, and consultants who develop research-based information and deliver programs on essential skills to help individuals and families be better prepared to live, work, and succeed in today’s complex and diverse world.

Field of Family & Consumer Sciences

Family and consumer sciences (FCS) draws from broad and diverse disciplines to develop and provide content and programs that help individuals become more effective critical thinkers and problem solvers. Through discovery and delivery of research-based knowledge, FCS professionals help individuals and families develop essential skills to successfully live and work in a complex world. Professionals in the field are uniquely qualified to speak on many critical issues affecting individuals and families, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, wisely managing personal and family finances, and creating supportive relationships with family members, friends, and co-workers.  They are located nationwide in a variety of practice settings, including secondary schools, universities, government agencies, and businesses.
For more information, please contact:
Gwynn Mason
Sr. Director, Communications & Marketing, AAFCS