Alton family and consumer sciences teachers (from left) Regina Birch, Trudi Douglas and Sharon Ferree.
ALTON — Two Alton family and consumer sciences teachers received recognition at the annual Illinois Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers Association conference in July.
These teachers established Alton High School’s chapter of Family, Career, Community Leaders of America in 2012 with 20 members and have increased the membership to 100 members. The organization’s activities include leadership training and Star Projects competition at the state level. Two members went on to national FCCLA conference this summer, and one member is now a state officer.
Sharon Ferree was awarded the association’s Billye Griswold Professionalism Award, which honors a teacher who has made significant contributions in the classroom, is considered an outstanding leader in the field and has an active FCCLA program. Ferree had her classes participate in two community projects before starting the FCCLA chapter; the FCCLA members took over the projects Oxford America Hunger Banquet and food drives. She will assist FCCLA members with the monthly event of feeding the homeless this academic year. More activities and projects have happened and are ongoing. As an adviser for the FCCLA chapter, Ferree mentors, supervises and accompanies the FCCLA student members with all their activities. Ferree was a presenter at the 2016 Connection Conference for teachers from across the state and has articles included in state publications.
Regina Birch was awarded the association’s Outstanding Teacher in Community Service Award, which recognizes a teacher with significant accomplishments and outstanding leadership in programs and activities that promote community involvement. Birch mentors, supervises and accompanies student members with activities and projects, including Make a Difference Day, fundraising for domestic violence victims, bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, Alzheimer’s Association projects, helping the Susan G. Komen Foundation and more.
In her personal life, Birch continues to volunteer by helping with 4-H and her daughter’s music programs. At church she teaches vacation Bible school and has done volunteer mission trips in the United States and overseas. Birch will be entered into the IACTE Outstanding Teacher in Community Service against the top community service teachers in career and technical education across the state.