Minnesota Association of Family & Consumer Sciences

If you attended the MAFCS Conference, you know that all had the opportunity to complete a MAFCS/MNACTE Public Policy Survey.  A BIG Thank You to all who filled this survey out and submitted it.  Click here to review the responses from the survey as they were actually written.  Some responded to all questions and some responded to the one's they could speak to.  An ENORMOUS thank you to all who completed the survey.  Now, this information will be used as each CTE group on the MNACTE Board will meet with a private consultant to share information about their programs and continue the re-visioning process.  

Submitted by: Lori Brumbaugh, MAFCS MNACTE Representativ

Press Release

Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Conference

Rochester, Minnesota        February 7-9, 2018

The Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences annual conference was held at the The Kahler Grand Hotel, February 7-9, 2018 with the theme Family and Consumer Sciences: The Heartbeat for Your Life.

There were over 35 presenters and speakers addressing content relevant to Family and Consumer Sciences in business and education.  The meeting was presided by Lois Lewis, President and Deborah Larson, President Elect.  Conference organizers were:  Alyssa Ambrosius, Amy Friedrichs, and Ashley Nelson.  Major topics of discussion were the importance Family and Consumers Sciences for our communities in business, and in education.

Awards were granted for dedication and service to the association.  These members have shown outstanding effort in the area of promotion, development, and community relations to the profession of Family and Consumer Sciences in business and the classroom.

  • Minnesota Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year:  Lynsee Mattson, South St. Paul School District
  • Outstanding Professional:  Lori Brumbaugh, Anoka School District
  • Outstanding Friend:  Hospitality MN Education Foundation
  • Outstanding Service:  Shawna Wilson, Shakopee School District
  • New Achiever:  Kaylee Wiens, Faribault School District

Several Scholarships were awarded to students majoring in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences and related areas.  These scholarships were funded by association members, along with a donation by Melanie Nelson of Learning ZoneXpress for the June Nelson Scholarship.  The awardees were: Erica Hauf, Concordia College, Moorhead; Sarah Bates, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Nina Riesselman, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Cassidy Breer, Minnesota State University, Mankato; and Maggie O’Connor, Minnesota State University, Mankato.

November 9, 2017

Happy November MAFCS!

Conference planning is well underway and we wanted to note a couple of changes this year for the better!

  • This year's conference will be held February 7-9th- note that this means the Educational Excursion will be held on Wednesday1st full day of the conference will be Thursday with awards dinner that evening, and FULL DAY OF BREAKOUTS FRIDAY AS WELL.  This allows us to hold the more breakout sessions than in years past!
  • Breakout & Keynote speakers are being finalized- so stay tuned for a new digital program available through the MAFCS website by the end of the month
  • This year's Wednesday Evening Fundraiser will be a Modern Calligraphy class.  Space is limited, and is a fun evening as always! Class includes take home supplies & see flyer or MAFCS website for details
  • If you have not already- please take our pre-conference survey linked here- we directly have been using the survey results to align our speakers and breakout sessions. Thank you for those of you who have already completed the survey! Your voices have been heard!
  • In addition to more breakout sessions, we will this year be hosting a series of mini breakout sessions timed at 25 minutes- this way you can potentially see double the amount of breakouts as years past.  50 minute breakouts will still be available for those who need more time.  
  • Breakouts this year will also include opportunities for small tours of area businesses, architecture, and history
  • We look forward to seeing you at this year's conference and if you have not already done so REGISTER TODAY

September 11, 2017

Serv-Safe Training for Educators              

November 1st, 2017   +   8AM – 6PM  CTE Works Pre-conference     +     Crowne Plaza Hotel – Bloomington, MN

Registration Deadline is October 15th!  Download the flyer here.

September 10, 2017

2017 Family and Consumer Sciences Education Conference

Susan Sharkey (NEFE) spoke at the national conference in Dallas this year and is coming to UW-Stout.   We also have a keynote speaker from Washington State on early brain development  and a King Arthur flour representative is slated to speak regarding service learning to food shelters.  Materials about the conference can be found at:

June 25th, 2017

We still have a few spots left for our FACS Day at the State Fair!  Encourage a friend or spouse to join you!  Each participant will receive an entrance ticket to the fair and a T-shirt to sport while working our booth in the Education Building.  Sign up HERE!

Any questions, email

June 1, 2017

Check out our "events" page to explore professional development opportunities this summer!  We've got Serv-Safe training for Educators & Teacher Cadet training coming to the Twin Cities this summer - you won't want to miss it!

Thank you to 2015-16 TOY Lori Young for coordinating and scheduling FACS professionals to meet and greet fair goers and eloquently represent our FACS teachers.  Below are two pictures taken at the MN State Fair FACS Booth on Sunday, August 28.  Lori Young and Amanda Herman worked the early morning "shift" and Marian Dombrock stopped to visit!  

Challenges make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
— Joshua Marine

This June, several of our MAFCS members traveled to Seattle, Washington to attend the National AAFCS conference.  Below are pictures from their trip!

April 20, 2016

Nomination forms for the 2016 Minnesota FACS Teacher of the Year can be found on our website at


The program for the 2016 MAFCS conference has been released!  Click here for more information!

Commit to "Dining In" on Family & Consumer Sciences Day, December 3, 2015!  Please visit the 2015 "Dine In" page for more information!

This year MAFCS is offering two scholarship awards.   The first scholarship is for a  Specialization in a Family and Consumer Sciences Program of Study.  The second scholarship  is for a degree program of study in Family and Consumer Sciences Education.  The scholarships will be awarded at the MAFCS Conference and Meeting held at Cragun's in Brainerd,  Minnesota on February 25-27, 2016.

To download the scholarship application please visit our Scholarship page.

FACS Educator Bulletin Board Contest

Design a bulletin board that promotes what it takes to become a FACS Educator!

Information on the board may include:

  • Potential Colleges that offer the FACS Education Program
  • Benefits of the Teaching Profession
  • Additional Opportunities such as Coaching & 
  • Extra Curricular Activities
  • Photos of FACS Teachers in ACTION!

Take a Photo of your Bulletin Board and email it to

Your Board will be shared at the MAFCS State Conference, and the Most Creative Board will win a prize!

It's award nomination time!  

Visit our Award & Grant page to download the application to nominate someone!



Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Pre-Conference Options

February 26th – February 27th, 2016



11000 Craguns Drive

Brainerd, MN 56401

(800) 272-4867


Family & Consumer Sciences Day

For the first annual Family & Consumer Sciences Day, the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences will be asking families to prepare and eat a healthy meal together on December 3rd. December 3rd was chosen to honor AAFCS Founder Ellen Swallow Richards, first woman graduate of MIT. December 3rd is her birthday.

Visit to find out additional information - the goal is to reach 200,000 families, so please share this campaign widely.

Start by committing to "Dining In" on December 3rd!

Announced at Gala Celebration:  The Minnesota Department of Education has set aside funds to work on Minnesota FACS Graduation Standards!  Watch for more details.


Birdsell Receives National “New Achievers” Award 

 Birdsell receiving her national award at the AAFCS Conference this past summer.

Birdsell receiving her national award at the AAFCS Conference this past summer.

The American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) honored its New Achievers Award recipient and other award recipients at a ceremony during the 105th Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri this past summer. Hilary Birdsell, family and consumer  science educator, Central Public Schools, Norwood Young America, Minnesota, was selected for the  prestigious award. 

The AAFCS New Achievers Award recognizes emerging professionals who are demonstrating through their innovative programs or curricula the potential for making significant contributions in family and consumer sciences. Award recipients are professionals with three to eight years of service in the field. 

During Birdsell’s seven years as a family and consumer sciences educator, she has developed curriculum for 10 classes, including foods, child development, family life skills, and interior design. When 

creating each curriculum, Birdsell tries to incorporate a wide variety of learning experiences, such as field trips or service learning projects, to enrich the class and works to articulate her classes for college credits. An active member in her community and at the state level, Birdsell participates in local 4-H judging, is co-chair of the Awards/Recognitions, Scholarships, and Best Practice Grants for the Minnesota Affiliate of AAFCS, and has presented at two Minnesota State Conferences. 

The Minnesota Association of Family & Consumer Science is proud to have Hilary represent them at a national level and a leader in our field.

Sew Much Comfort Named AAFCS “21st Century Community Champion”

   AAFCS 2013-14 President Peggy Wild, CFCS, (far left) and AAFCS Treasurer   Sister Victoria Marie Gribschaw, S.C., CFCS, present Michele Cuppy (middle), president/CFO and    co-founder of Sew Much Comfort, with the AAFCS 21st Century Community Champion Award   during the AAFCS 105th Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo.

AAFCS 2013-14 President Peggy Wild, CFCS, (far left) and AAFCS Treasurer
Sister Victoria Marie Gribschaw, S.C., CFCS, present Michele Cuppy (middle), president/CFO and 
co-founder of Sew Much Comfort, with the AAFCS 21st Century Community Champion Award
during the AAFCS 105th Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo.

Alexandria, Va. – July 17, 2014—Nominated by the Minnesota Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, Sew Much Comfort, headquartered in Burnsville, Minn., was honored with the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) 21st Century Community Champion award for their efforts of providing free adaptable clothing to wounded soldiers across the country. 

Michele Cuppy, president/CFO and co-founder of Sew Much Comfort, along with her Vice President, Linda Trumble, accepted the award presented by AAFCS President Peggy Wild, CFCS, and AAFCS Treasurer Sister Victoria Marie Gribschaw, SC, CFCS, at the AAFCS 105th Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, Mo., on June 28, 2014.  The conference theme was Global Gateway to Healthy and Sustainable Families.

Cuppy said, “It is amazing to me when we started Sew Much Comfort in 2004 I had no idea we would be here ten years later and how great the need really was. And how many amazing people have such big hearts that want to give back to our service members.”

Established in 2001, the AAFCS 21st Century Community Champion Award recognizes groups, organizations, and companies that promote the connection between strong families and strong communities by creating viable projects and activities that build communities in which families are valued,supported, and strengthened. The first recipient of the award in 2001 was the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sew Much Comfort, a program that provides free adaptive clothing, was founded in November 2004 by Michele Cuppy and Ginger Dosedel. Since its founding has distributed more than 137,536 pieces of adaptive clothing to wounded service men and women. Volunteers from all across the United States, Germany, and Europe are helping in the creation of adaptable clothing that is distributed in all major hospitals in the United States, Landstuhl, Germany, and at Combat Surgical hospitals.

Today Sew Much Comfort continues its mission “To provide custom-made adaptive clothing, free of charge, to all wounded service members from current conflicts and from all branches of the military and National Guard. We wish to aide in their recover, provide a tangible reminder of our gratitude for their sacrifice and give them added measure of comfort, dignity and freedom as they recover from their injuries and return to everyday life. Adaptive clothing accommodates their medical devices and situations, provides ease of use, increase personal independence and minimizes the visual impact of their injuries.”

For more information, please contact:
Gwynn Mason
Director of Communications, AAFCS

Meet the 2014 Teacher of the Year! 

 Jeanne Bymark, MN Teacher of the Year

Jeanne Bymark, MN Teacher of the Year

Jeanne has taught FACS classes at the Hibbing junior and senior high levels for more than 30 years, including 28 years in the Hibbing Public Schools. She has also been an advisor for extracurricular clubs as well as served on district committees, the System Accountability Report Committee, chaired the Business Education Partnership Board for Career and Technical Education Course and has been a secondary Carl Perkins coordinator for 14 years.

As a teacher she has used hands-on experiences to adapt to a variety of learning styles. She has also involved her students with several community service projects for Habitat for Humanity, booster clubs, the Minnesota Workforce Center, the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce and The Salvation Army. Bymark initiated the Early Childhood Family Education Program in Hibbing and served as the parent educator for four years.

Alison Feigh accepts the 21st Century Community Champion Award for the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center awarded by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences during the national conference in Houston, TX.  July 2013


In collaboration with the Home Depot, Monticello Middle School FACS instructor, Karen Smith, has built the “GARDEN of DREAMS”. The Garden is a joint venture between Monticello Middle School 8th grade FACS students and volunteers from the local Home Depot staff. The entire Garden project was completed with donations of time and material from Home Depot and their vendors.   Eighth grade FACS students designed, built, and named the garden.  It was built in one day with the help of Home Depot employees working side by side with the students in May.  Staff are using the garden as a way to teach authentic real life lessons integrating it into FACS, ELL, math, global studies, history, special education, science, and STEM curriculum. Mel Bartholomew, author of several books on Square Foot Gardens, came to see the garden all the way from San Diego on July 15th.  Many from the community attended to hear him talk and see the garden.  The "GARDEN of DREAMS" is a wonderful gathering spot for school groups and community events. A band concert is scheduled for the garden in July.

Challenges make like interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
— Joshua Marine