Minnesota Association of Family & Consumer Sciences


2016 MAFCS Award Recipients!



  • Outstanding Professional:  An MAFCS member who has demonstrated outstanding support and accomplishments in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences.
    • Dr. Jill Conlon, Deborah Larson, and Karen Smith.  Working as a team Jill, Deb, and Karen provided leadership, vision, dedication  and  perseverance in seeking representation for all Family and Consumer Sciences teachers in the state of Minnesota.  Their passion was realized when the Minnesota Department of Education posted a job position for a Family and Consumer Sciences Specialist in April, 2015. MAFCS member, Maxine Peterson, is now our  "voice" as Family and Consumer Sciences Education Specialist.  

Also, a grant was written and secured through the Minnesota Department of Education and federal funding became available to compensate educators to develop and write Frameworks/Standards in Minnesota for Family and Consumer Sciences.  Approximately 45 teachers worked on the development of the Frameworks.  Many, many collaboration meetings, countless hours, and  persistence lead to the writing and development of the Frameworks.   These tireless efforts lead to a fall 2015 roll out of the Minnesota Frameworks/Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences.  Jill,  Deb, and Karen have also worked with consortium leaders and presented at the CTE conference to inform a broader community about the Frameworks initiative.  This dedication has lead to a wider 'net" of support and validation for the important role that Family and Consumer Sciences professionals play in the lives of our youth and families in society.

Jill, Deb, and Karen are very deserving of the Outstanding Professional Award for all the significant professional accomplishments and to their commitment to MAFCS and our profession.  It is with heartfelt congratulations that we recognize and thank this visionary and passionate team for all they do to positively touch lives!

  • Outstanding Service:  An individual member who continually gives of them self within our organization to serve in the many capacities needed to keep our organization top notch.
    • Lois Lewis.  Lois.  has provided leadership to MAFCS by serving as the Vice-President of Program and thus, the chair person of the committee who have developed and coordinated this informative and inspiring conference--"Bridging the Gap--Centering our Focus".  Obviously hours of visionary and passionate planning are evident in what we are experiencing here.  In addition, Lois  has represented MAFCS as the 2012 Teacher of the Year (TOY).  Her program "Healthy Initiatives" --combating obesity, encouraging healthier lifestyles through offering healthier school food choices, modeling positive behaviors plus securing a grant for funding earned Lois the prestigious AAFCS national Teacher of the Year award.  Lois has also served MAFCS as VP Membership, VP-Elect Membership and VP-Program-Elect.  She has also presented at our state and national conferences.  Lois has volunteered creative and theme focused table settings for the MAFCS festive spring Gala.  Previously, Lois was a Minnesota Extension Educator and now she has taught Family and Consumer Sciences in grades 7-12 for over 20 years at Indus School in Birchdale, Minnesota.

      It is with heartfelt congratulations that we recognize and thank Lois for your dedication and service to MAFCS and our profession!

    • Gerry Luepke.  has provided leadership to MAFCS by planning, organizing, coordinating, and serving as tour guide for many awesome (and fun) Educational Excursions on the Thursday prior to the MAFCS conference.  Some of the excursion high lights include the New Flyer Bus company, shopping at Strategic Equipment, lunch at Cafe Renaissance, seeing the fabulous displays at The Grand Depot in 2012; the Ecolab Innovation Center, Cameron's Coffee, a delicious lunch at Spoon River, Vibro-Acoustic lighting among other innovations at the Kohler Design Center in 2013; the Foodservice Learning Center at CenterPoint Energy, a Formulation Chemist at Caldrea, a gourmet experience at Cosetta's Restaurant, and a creative floral experience at Kohler and Dramm in 2014;  Microbiotics Company, College of St. Benedict including lunch, "Pioneer Place on Fifth", and BumbleDees with 35 different vendors in 2015; and just completed in 2016 a tour of Central Lakes College, manufacturing of food and bakery packaging at Lindar Corporation, and the Christmas Point retail operation.  Each of these Educational Excursions has provided opportunities to interface with the business community.  So many MAFCS members have learned, shared and truly enjoyed the excursions Gerry has planned.  In addition, Gerry serves as Geographic Community 5 (metro area) coordinator and has been on the Nominating Committee.  Also she has provided creative and theme focused table settings (ahh the beautiful fresh tulips!) for the MAFCS festive spring Gala, plus "treasures" for the MAFCS silent auctions.  

It is with heartfelt congratulations that we recognize and thank Gerry for your dedication and service to MAFCS and our profession!

  • Outstanding Friend: An individual or group who is not a member of MAFCS but who shows continued support in the profession as an “outsider”.
    • Michelle Kamenov, Education Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education.  Her nomination states that "Michelle has done so much to move the Family and Consumer Sciences field forward this year.  Her pivotal work in helping secure and advocate for the creation of the Family and Consumer Science Specialist at the Department of Education, the hours she spent helping secure the grant for the FACS Frameworks project, and her work writing and obtaining the grant for training FACS teachers on the Frameworks.  Michelle also took on the majority of work on the approval of the CTE levy and FACS program approvals.  Plus she answered most inquiries about FACS when there was no Minnesota Department of Education representation for FACS.  Michelle Kamenov is truly deserving of this award as her work has helped to ignite FACS teachers and it is with heartfelt thanks and congratulations that we recognize and thank Michelle Kamenov for all you have done and continue to do to support Family and Consumer Science professionals!
  • New Achievers Award:  An emerging professional who has shown potential for making significant contributions in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences. Must have at least 3 years but not more than 8 years of service to the Family and Consumer Sciences field and is an active member of MAFCS.    The New Achievers Award was introduced in 1984 to recognize emerging professionals who have shown potential for making significant contributions in the field of family and consumer sciences.   


  • Best Practice Grant:  So often FACS teachers have clever and engaging learning activities that require some extra dollars from an already tight budget…It is for this reason the Education Community sponsors up to four (4) $250 Best Practice Grants each year.  Here are our 2016 MAFCS Best Practice Grant Recipients:
    • Amanda Herman Northdale Middle School in the Anoka school district.  Amanda will use the grant funds toward the purchase of equipment, calculators, for her 7th graders to use during the Informed Consumer unit and when students learn about cost per serving in the Foods and Nutrition unit plus other lessons that include math calculations.  Amanda's teaching goal is to provide equipment for all her students to achieve understanding and be able to apply basic life skills.  Please report back to us how this Best Practice Grant has benefited your students in learning and applying math computation skills in your consumer and foods units.  

    • Beth Smith, Big Lake High School.  Beth plans to use the grant funds to purchase a food processor and a coffee/spice grinder for her World Foods students to use in grinding spices that their recipes require.  She also has a new Healthy Eating class in which students are using and creating recipes that require a food processor.  Both the food processor and coffee/spice grinder will allow Beth's students to learn about and experience new alternative food products like flax seed and all natural and unprocessed foods products by using the latest in kitchen technology. 

    • Marian Dombrock, Valley View Middle School in the Bloomington school district. Marian plans to use the grant funds to provide a customized embroidery sewing project to 7th grade students who are on free or reduced lunch (very close to 75-80% of her students) who experience various financial hardships . Students feel pride and a sense of accomplishment when they complete a personalized project that they can keep and use over and over again.  They also discover the many benefits of sewing such as applying technical reading skills, problem solving and managing class time.