Will Hehemann | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
Mollie Sanford, a 2014 graduate of human sciences at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, recently received the New Teacher of the Year Award by the Arkansas Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences. The award recognizes teachers who have made significant contributions toward innovative and unique career and technical education (CTE) programs and demonstrated a professional commitment early in their careers.
Eligible candidates for the award needed to be employed as classroom or laboratory CTE teachers at the middle, secondary or postsecondary level for a period of three to five years and have a current membership with the Arkansas chapter of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).
“Mollie was a very talented student who excelled in her courses at UAPB, and I am very excited that she won this award,” Dr. Kaye Crippen, professor of the Merchandising, Textiles and Design (MTD) program at UAPB, said. “She has great organization skills and works well with everyone. I saw her interact with students when she was a student teacher, so I know she is an outstanding teacher.”
Sanford currently works as a teacher of family and consumer sciences at Dumas New Tech High School in Dumas, Arkansas. She teaches courses in child development, parenting, food and nutrition, family dynamics and teaching orientation.
“I love working with students and preparing them for life after high school,” she said. “I believe teaching students the life skills necessary to perform adult roles and fulfill their responsibilities will help them be more successful on their own in the future.”
In addition to the courses she teaches, Sanford also serves as a sponsor of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America organization. At Dumas High School, she serves as chair of both the wellness and improvement committees and is a member of the leadership team and parental involvement committee. She also serves on the curriculum committee for the Dumas School District.
Sanford said she always knew she wanted to become a teacher. As a child, she loved going to school, reading and learning about new subjects.
“I eventually wanted to play a role in something that was much bigger than just myself,” she said. “While I was in high school I loved taking family and consumer sciences courses, but it wasn’t until I started my college coursework at UAPB that I finally found my calling and made the decision to major in human sciences education.”