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Outstanding Alumni - Family and Consumer Sciences Education

Interviews with Outstanding Family and Consumer Sciences Alumni: Laura Spiegelhalter, Miranda Goodlett, Billie Kelly, Leslie Hulsey and Kelli Profitt.

Dr. Jackie Jensen : Why did you decide to become a family and consumer sciences teacher?

Laura Spiegelhalter : I wanted to be involved with high school students in teaching about life skills and lessons. I started out in social work. As a school social worker, I realized the impact that a teacher has on students. Teachers get to see students every day, and an FCS teacher gets to teach about the things that will most affect students in the near future.

Miranda Goodlett: I decided I wanted to become a FACS teacher in 7th grade. I had my first class and instantly fell in love. The more classes in high school I took the more passionate I become about teaching. I truly love teaching. I feel blessed to come to work each day and touch the lives of my students.

Billie Kelly : I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was deciding on a major. I wanted to teach something I would enjoy. I thought about my personal interests and talents, and FCS was a perfect fit.

Leslie Hulsey: I chose to become a family and consumer sciences teacher because I fell in love with FCCLA in high school, and everything that my FCS department had to offer. I became involved and knew instantly that the group of people in FCS was something that I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life. I have a passion for sharing the values and knowledge of family and consumer sciences, and what better way to do so than being a high school FCS teacher!

Kelli Profitt:  I get to teach something different every day, like cooking, relationships, parenting, money skills, and sewing. Students are interested in these subjects because they learn new skills they can use in everyday life. I feel I make a difference in every student's life when I see their skills develop.  It is very rewarding to see how they grow.

Dr. Jackie Jensen : What do you like best about your middle/high school students?

Laura Spiegelhalter : I teach high school students. The thing I like the best is watching them become young adults. They have to face a lot of challenges in today's society. I enjoy hearing their views on life.

Miranda Goodlett : I love teaching high school. I think that each of us has a purpose in life. I believe with my whole heart that teaching Family and Consumer Science in high school is mine. I love seeing students grow throughout their 3 years in high school and seeing them transform to the adults that they will soon become.

Billie Kelly : Students make me feel so young and energetic. I feed off of their energy. They love my subject and I have so much fun teaching them the things they can really use in life.

Leslie Hulsey: High school students are so full of curiosity about what life will be like for them after they graduate. Their thirst for knowledge of real life is so wonderful. I love being able to play a role in their lives that can provide give them the skills that they will need.

Kelli Profitt: Teaching high school is great because you can see the dramatic change in students from their freshman year to when they complete their first big goal of graduating high school. I can have really meaningful conversations with my students about education and career choices.  They come to me for information on day-to-day actions in family and consumer sciences.

Dr. Jackie Jensen : Why are the courses you teach important for students' lives?

Laura Spiegelhalter : I teach multiple courses including Foods, Money Skills, Fashion and Interiors I, Fashion and Interiors II, and Relationships and Parenting. All of these courses have real life curriculum. The students never ask, "Why do I need to know this?" or "When will I ever use this?" It is so clear that everything we teach will help them now and in the future, especially with the relationships and parenting class. Students’ beliefs about relationships and sex are so far off. It is nice to see them learn that it is okay to respect themselves.

Miranda Goodlett : I teach classes that will help students be prepared for everyday life. I teach students to care for themselves and their families. I teach them how to balance a fulltime career and a family. The classes I teach help students take their interests from the classroom into careers for the future.

Billie Kelly : I tell my students that they can use everything we learn. They will not have to wait until later in life to apply the material. We learn about relationships, communication, nutrition, and money skills. These topics are so relevant in the day-to-day life of teens.

Leslie Hulsey: All of the courses play a part in teaching students to sustain successful lives, families, careers, and futures. From child development and parenting, to life skills and fashion, the courses give students skills, facts, and insights that they can take away with them when they leave the high school classroom.

Kelli Profitt: Teaching FCS is why I love teaching. I know the lessons I teach makes a difference in students' lives. When a student comes running to me to tell me they cooked supper for their family for the first time using a recipe we prepared in class it is very rewarding, and knowing they will carry those skills with them for the rest of their life is really special.   After a student shares a story of being able to say "No" in a bad situation after learning refusal skills in a previous lesson, it starts him/her on the right track for other situations in life. My students share stories weekly of information they have taken from my class and used in day-to-day life.

Dr. Jackie Jensen : What did you like about attending Eastern Kentucky University?

Laura Spiegelhalter: Everything! I loved the campus, the staff, the town, but my professors made it home. The instructors worked with me in every way possible to make sure I got the best education that was tailored to my specific needs. EKU made sure that we would be ready to teach in the real world before we graduated from the program.

Miranda Goodlett : I really enjoyed the atmosphere of EKU’s campus. I loved getting to know the staff in the Burrier Building and feeling like I belonged there. In addition, being on Eastern Kentucky’s campus made me feel like I was at home and I felt that I became part of an even larger family.

Billie Kelly : It is an awesome university with caring, committed teachers. The campus is beautiful and easy to navigate. The FCS department was like a family to me while at EKU.

Leslie Hulsey:  Eastern Kentucky University is a great place for anyone seeking a pathway to teach family and consumer sciences. I loved the atmosphere of the campus, and the classes that I took were all applicable to my future. The faculty in the FCS department are so helpful. They really care about you as a student and will do anything to help you to prepare for your career.

Kelli Profitt: I loved my time at EKU because it is a good campus and has a great FCS department.  My favorite part was the faculty who worked with me.   I felt I belonged and was part of something important while I attended.  I feel it was partly because of the wonderful teachers that actually cared for each student.  They are still a valuable resource and mentor to me, even though I graduated.

Dr. Jackie Jensen : What advice do you have for others who are interested in becoming an FCS teacher?

Laura Spiegelhalter : Do it. If you are thinking about becoming an FCS teacher, just do it. Many schools are currently looking for FCS teachers, and there are not enough to go around. With the wide variety of FCS classes to choose from, you will have fun and enjoy teaching. I feel support from others all over the state.

Miranda Goodlett : I would encourage all future Family and Consumer Sciences teachers to love what you do. Be passionate about what you teach and the students you are teaching. Love your students and make them feel special to be in your class.

Billie Kelly : It is a wonderful, fulfilling career and one of the best decisions I ever made for myself! I have been teaching 19 years and it feels like I just started. I love my profession and am so proud of my degree and experiences at EKU!

Leslie Hulsey: My advice for anyone interested in becoming an FCS teacher is to soak in everything. Learn from your professors, colleagues, peers, and students. Every student needs what you have to teach, and it is easy to get discouraged.  DON"T!  You are on a path that has the capacity to change lives. Be prepared to have days that are challenging and days that make you wonder why you became a teacher. Remember those days are normal. Also, never lose sight of why you want to be a teacher. You chose this path for a reason, and you are good at what you do! For every bad day, there are a million good ones! Take pride in what you do and never lose sight of your dreams!

Kelli Profitt: Being a FCS teacher is a great career where each day is different and fast-moving from one area of the content to the another. You will make a difference in your students life's and you can't be more rewarded than that.  You actually watch them become self reliant in many ways.  My advice is everything you learn will be used in your teaching career, so do your best.  Keep your books to use as reference guides when you teach; go to conferences to network and stay current in your field. 

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