Brigitte Brucklacher is Career and Technical Teacher of the Year

Worth parading ... At the insistence of her relatives, Brigitte Brucklacher broke the news of her Teacher of the Year Award to the public during the Philip Festival Days parade on August 2.

Brigitte Brucklacher has been selected as the Outstanding Career and Technical Teacher of the Year by fellow members of the South Dakota Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences.

This is an award given to a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher providing outstanding vocational and technical education programs to youth. It is given to teachers who have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs that are serving to improve and promote career and technical education. Brucklacher was honored for her outstanding contributions to her field.

Brucklacher is the FACS teacher and advisor of the Philip FCCLA chapter. Her courses provide training for students in areas including nutrition, fashion design, independent living, housing, families and parenting.

Jeff Rieckman, secondary principal at Philip High School, said that he knew in January of Brucklacher's nomination. He was asked by the association to write a letter of support that she deserved the honor.

On Monday evening, July 28, the SDATFACS organization (SD Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences) held their awards banquet in Pierre. There Brucklacher was officially honored with the Teacher of the Year award.

Becky Nelson, speaking for the SDACTE, said, "Brigitte is an outstanding teacher and a leader among Family and Consumer Science Teachers and Career and Technical Teachers across the state. She is an example of a dedicated teacher to her students and profession."

Consequentially, Brucklacher had been nominated as the Teacher of the Year into the entire SDACTE (SD Association of Career and Technical Educators) awards system. At the banquet on Tuesday night, Brucklacher was awarded the SDACTE Teacher of the Year award.

Roberta Stoebner, chairperson of the awards committee, said, "Receiving the 2008 Teacher of the Year Award was Brigitte Brucklacher. Through the use of grants and technology, she has made her classroom environment innovative and updated. She applied for three grants that provided $100,000 to update the plumbing and electrical wiring in order to prepare the room for 14 student work stations. Students utilize these station and modules which address the topics of health and wellness, home technology, consumerism and personal improvement. Mrs. Brucklacher also has her students involved in the community with service projects like making blankets for domestic violence shelters in Pierre and Rapid City, raising funds for charities and families in need, conducting health fairs, promoting reading through the Reading Buddies project, instructing youth on traffic safety and sponsoring family fun nights.

According to Jean Clarke, chair for the ACTE division awards, Brucklacher can compete on the Region V level of ACTE. Region V includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Trust Territories, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. That competition does not conclude until next spring.

At that time, the applicants selected from the five regions would go on to compete for the national award.

"Brigette is very deserving of this award, and we are very proud of her," said Clarke.

Joline Dunbar is the president of the FACS division this year. Dunbar said that Brucklacher will need to submit an application according to the regional and national guidelines by sometime this coming school year. The Region V meeting is next spring. If she is selected as a Region V finalist, Brucklacher will be interviewed at the regional meeting and, if she wins there, she will advance to the national ACTE meeting in November or December of 2009 to compete against the other regional winners. Dunbar said, "It is quite a long process, but very worthwhile."

The 2008 awards presentation for the national winner will be December 4 through 6 at the Association's Annual Convention general session held in Charlotte, NC.