National Teacher’s Day extra special for member
Published June 2011 Voice
It was quite a National Teacher’s Day for Sharon Baillie last month.
Baillie, a teacher in the Burgettstown Area School District in Washington County, celebrated the annual event by being named the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences’ 2011 National Teacher of the Year.
The award honors exemplary teachers who use cutting-edge methods, techniques, and activities that help give visibility to family and consumer sciences education at the secondary and elementary levels.
In 2007, Baillie started a Healthy Living program that brings nutrition knowledge and applications to K-12 students. It meets the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and all 28 Pennsylvania Department of Education standards for student nutrition.
So popular is the program that Foods and Nutrition classes at Burgettstown middle and high schools are at maximum enrollment.
And that is even after the two additional sections were added during the current school year to meet increased demand.
“I am truly honored,’’ said Baillie. “This has been a team effort with my students, administration, colleagues, parents, and the community.’’
Ironically, it is exactly these kinds of classes that are at risk in some school districts across Pennsylvania as they face difficult decisions stemming from Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed $1.2 billion cuts in state K-12 funding.
Consumer sciences, arts, and music programs are among the most vulnerable, even though many educational professors note these classes provide life skills and also can be correlated to reinforce lessons in math, science, and English, for example.
Baillie will be officially honored on June 23 during the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences’ Annual Conference & Expo in Phoenix, Ariz. She will receive a plaque, $2,500, and $1,000 toward one-year membership and participation in the organization.