The Virginia Association for Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences (VATFACS) recently honored two alumni of the Shenandoah University Career Switchers program. Terri Evers, who completed phase one of the program in January 2013 and phase two of the program after her first year of teaching in 2013-2014, was named VATFACS Teacher of the Year. Charmayne Bodkin, who completed the program in 2014, was honored as VATFACS New Teacher of the Year.
Evers, who has taught Early Childhood Development/Early Childhood Education I & II at the Spotsylvania Career and Technical Center in Spotsylvania County since September 2013, was drawn to teaching after working as a realtor and broker for 18 years and earning a master’s degree in youth ministry. But, with the economic downturn, few churches could pay for a full-time youth minister. So, Evers did a self-analysis to determine her interests. She decided she would try out substitute teaching, and soon determined teaching was her calling. She participated in the Career Switcher program through its Fredericksburg cohort.
Bodkin, who is in her sixth year as a Loudoun County career and technical education (CTE) instructor, currently teaches eighth grade Family and Consumer Sciences and Introduction to Business and Marketing at Willard Intermediate School in Aldie, Virginia. After spending time in retail management and banking, she turned to the Career Switcher program after her youngest child was diagnosed with autism at age 2. “Due to this, I had to learn all I could about education to be the best advocate I could be for him. This was a blessing in disguise that led me to my future career and passion, teaching,” she said.
“Completing the Career Switcher program through Shenandoah University has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and has allowed me to pursue the career of my dreams,” said Bodkin. “I enjoy getting to know my students and helping them to be the best that they can be. I love teaching CTE because we get to put the learning from their core classes into practice. It is so exciting to see my students grow!”
Bodkin, who participated in the Career Switcher program at Scholar Plaza in Leesburg, said her award was a complete surprise. “I am very flattered and humbled to have received this honor. I have had so many wonderful teachers help me get where I am. I feel very blessed.”
Evers said she was also surprised and honored to be named VATFACS Teacher of the Year. “There are many teachers that work hard and love their students. Those of us that teach Family and Consumer Science classes have the blessing of teaching a subject that is relevant to every student,” she said. “It was a wonderful experience to see the fruit of my efforts; to be recognized by my peers, the FCCLA [Family, Career and Community Leaders of America] community, and my fellow Spotsylvania County Family and Consumer Science teachers, who presented me with flowers. It was invigorating. It meant a great deal to me.”