PFAFFTOWN, N.C. — Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools teacher Michelle Derouin has been named the N.C. Teacher of the Year for the Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Derouin is a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Reagan High School.
Her classes include Apparel and Textile Production, Interior Design and Fashion Merchandising.
“Over the last 20 years, it’s definitely not your mom’s home ec,” she said.
Derouin emphasizes science and math in her classes.
“You have to be able to explain why do you want to use this fiber versus another fiber to make a fabric,” Derouin said.
Her work also extends beyond the classroom where she has worked on teams to develop curricula for teachers across the state.
She has also participated in pilot courses.
The life skills she emphasizes in her courses are ones that have come in handy during the pandemic.
“We’ve got students in our foods classes who are cooking meals at home. We have students in our apparel classes such as mine who are sewing masks,” Derouin said.
She has had several students succeed in state and national competitions, including student Emily Feria, who won first place in the state and third place nationally for her work in fashion construction.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself with her help and because of her pushing me,” Feria said.
Derouin hopes to use her recent honor to advocate for having classes in Family Consumer Sciences in schools.
“Bringing to light the recognition of how essential and how important these skills are to everyone,” she said.