Minnesota Association of Family & Consumer Sciences


2019 Teacher of the Year

Minnesota Association of Family & Consumer Sciences

2019 MN Teacher of the Year

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Amanda Carlson

The 2019 MAFCS Teacher of the Year was recently announced by Lynsee Mattson, who chaired a committee to choose the next Teacher of the Year from the list of nominees.  

Amanda Herman is no stranger to earn- ing state recognition. But she acknowledges it’s a little strange to be in the limelight.

“It’s hard to talk about yourself, but on the same hand, it’s a real honor to get this award,” she said.

Amanda is a Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) teacher at Northdale Middle School (NMS) in Coon Rapids, and over the summer, was named the 2019 Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year.

“To be nominated was exciting, but to win — it’s just amazing,” she said. “So many teachers around the state are deserving and go beyond every day for their students just like I try to. So it’s really validating. I try to do what’s best for kids.”

Amanda also received recognition from the Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences when she earned the group’s 2014 Outstanding Professional Award and the 2017 Outstanding Service Award.

NMS Principal Jeff Leach said there probably isn’t a more dedicated teacher at the school than Amanda.

“She’s just a superstar in so many ways,” he said. “She works with kids in a variety of ways before and after school. She organizes our Unity Day, and plays a key role in honoring veterans at our school. And that’s on top of her regular teaching duties. She’s an all-around great teacher.”

As an FCS teacher, Amanda educates her seventh and eighth graders in things like financial literacy and managing money, nutrition and wellness, communication, child development, careers, digital citizenship and how to sew.

“It’s not just home-ec anymore,” she joked. “In FCS we teach the skills to be successful in life out- side of school — stuff students will use in their everyday life. Former students come back and tell me, ‘I have to say, thanks for the life skills you taught us.’”

Amanda is busy in the classroom, but also outside of it, as Leach alluded to. She’s helped write the district’s FCS curriculum, is active in local Beyond the Yellow Ribbon groups in addition to the work she does at NMS to help honor veterans, and has helped students get their FCS work submitted for awards at the Minnesota State Fair. But her most impactful work might be as the advisor to the NMS FCS Club.

“We have made fleece tie blankets, scarves, mittens and chemo caps for Children's Minnesota – Minneapolis Hospital, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, residents and Veterans at a Coon

Rapids nursing home, homeless families in our district, Coon Rapids and Blaine High School seniors entering the military, a service-member facing cancer, and Jackson Middle School and NMS families affected by cancer,” she said. The fabric for the venture is funded with donations and money from a Thrivent Action Team Grant she earned that goes toward the purchase of the fabric.

By winning the state award, Amanda is now eligible for the national FCS Teacher of the Year award from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. She’ll need to apply to be considered for that award, which will be announced next summer. In the meantime, by winning the state award, Amanda will be representing the FCS teaching profession at professional events around Minnesota over the next year.

“Amanda was nominated by her FCS peers in the state based on her dedication to her students in the classroom and her profession at the state level,” said Lynsee Mattson, an FCS teacher with South Saint Paul Public Schools, and who was last year’s Teacher of the Year winner. “The FCS community is very proud of Amanda and her hard work and dedication to the profession and her students.”

Minnesota Association of Family & Consumer Sciences

2020 MN Teacher of the Year



Nominate a current MN FACS teacher (or one who has retired in the past 12 months) who has:

  • Created and runs a family and consumer sciences program that has a FCS Curriculum Focus: Examples of curriculum focus include an original, expanded, or substantially modified traditional FCS content area ( as listed below), OR, a teaching emphasis consistently embedded in the nominee's curriculum, i.e. service learning, technology, project based learning, STEM, communications.

    • Career Awareness/Job Skill Training (e.g., work/study; literacy education; entrepreneurship)

    • Consumer Education/Family Finance (e.g., consumer rights; understanding credit; budgeting and managing money)

    • Creative Dimensions/Alternative Program Designs (e.g., caring for children, the elderly, legislation on family life)

    • Family Life/Personal and Social Development (e.g., alternative family structures such as intervention programming; dealing with grief and death)

    • Nutrition Education/Diet and Health (e.g.,wellness; food science and chemistry; dietary

Please visit the AAFCS site ( and review the previous National TOY award winners.

Judges are looking for programs that are unique and different than previous TOY winners. 

Basic qualifications for Teacher of the Year are: 

  • Is employed as a full-time permanent FCS teacher of grades kindergarten through 12 or who has retired within twelve months of the AAFCS national nomination deadline – second Monday in January;

  • Is an AAFCS member at the time of nomination and for at least three consecutive years prior to nomination;

  • Is willing to enter the National AAFCS Teacher of the Year competition, representing the MN affiliate, by submitting a portfolio of their program by the AAFCS national nomination deadline; attend the National AAFCS Convention where they will be recognized as an Affiliate (MN) TOY or be selected as one of the three merit finalists, one of which will be selected as the National AAFCS Teacher of the Year recipient. The Teacher of the Year is also requested to attend the State Convention in early 2016 to receive their award, present their program and attend a reception in their honor.


To nominate the 2020 MAFCS TOY, complete the nomination form & supporting documents. Please submit to Lynsee Mattson at by June 1, 2018.

Download the nomination form here!