I Want To...
- Cherry Creek School District No. 5
EHS educator named Colorado FCS Teacher of the Year
“It’s like home ec on steroids.”
That’s how Casey Schmitz describes family and consumer sciences, the course of study she’s been teaching for 15 years, the last eight at Eaglecrest High School. Schmitz says the courses she and her three teammates teach are far more rigorous and relevant than the home economics classes of the past. They include fashion merchandising, culinary essentials, child and adolescent development, and life management, which includes lessons in personal finance, budgeting, taxes, and other valuable life skills. Schmitz says she loves teaching her students things that will help them become independent adults and may lead them to a successful, rewarding career.
“That’s been a great thing for me, to be able to teach kids practical skills that they’re actually going to use,” said Schmitz, who also serves as Eaglecrest’s FCS department coordinator, the Professional Learning Community (PLC) facilitator, and advisor to the EHS Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club.
Given her many contributions, it’s no wonder Schmitz was named Colorado Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year by the Colorado Association for Family and Consumer Sciences, during the group’s annual conference in January. She was nominated for that statewide honor by several of her coworkers at Eaglecrest and in the Cherry Creek School District.
“Casey is an incredible educator who brings relationship-building to the forefront of her practice. She is an inspiration and strong advocate in supporting students with diverse learning needs and providing needed resources in reaching educational excellence for all students,” wrote Carla Sullivan, an FCS teacher at Smoky Hill High School.
“Those of us who know her know that Casey is someone you can rely on to get things done and done well,” wrote her EHS teammates Michelle Kim, Matt Williams, and Kaiya Jenkins.
EHS Principal Gwen Hansen-Vigil echoed their sentiments.
“Ms. Schmitz is a dedicated teacher who provides learning experiences for students that will positively impact them throughout their lives,” she said.
A Colorado native, Schmitz grew up in Thornton, and attended Johnson and Wales University where she earned an associate degree in culinary arts. While at Johnson and Wales, she did an internship at the Marriott Denver Tech Center, where she realized that training others was her favorite part of the job. So, she decided to become a family and consumer sciences teacher, earning her teaching degree in just three years.
Schmitz said being named Colorado FCS Teacher of the Year was an unexpected honor.
“It was a huge surprise. It was very humbling to have my peers recognize and appreciate what I’m doing,” she said.
Congratulations to Casey Schmitz, Colorado Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year!