BCHS teacher honored by state association

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Konen’s kitchen

Kim Konen, the BCHS Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, was recently named the Montana Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year. J.P. Plutt photo

The Montana Association of Family and Consumer Sciences last week named Beaverhead County High School’s Kim Konen the FCS Teacher of the Year.

“I want to congratulate Kim for her hard work, dedication, and commitment to developing her FCS program into the program it has become,” said BCHS Superintendent Gary Haverfield in making the announcement. “This award is truly an honor, very well deserved, and a reflection of all the time, effort, and energy you have spent working to develop our FCS program. Congratulations.”

When Konen first started at BCHS, the family and consumer sciences department (formerly home economics) was a part-time gig. So Konen taught history, government, spent time in the special education room, and taught a culinary class each semester, a sewing class, and a child development class. Her enthusiastic approach drew more and more students to FCS and now she is full-time in the world of Family and Consumer Sciences.

“We are incorporating math, science, everything within what we are teaching,” said Konen of the direction she has taken FCS. “We also teach financial independence and next year I’m going to be teaching an interior design class. I have culinary 1, 2 and 3, and I teach a child development class which is a dual credit course through Western. Kids can get four credits through Western.”

In the culinary classes, students go from learning cooking basics and making breads, to canning, how to use knives, and measure ingredients, to cooking foods from around the world to learning about nutrition.

“I have a class for freshmen and sophomores that focuses on cooking, sewing, writing a resume,” explained Konen. “I focus that one on growing up green, so planting a garden, recycling, cooking with Montanamade goods.” As students get further into

As students get further into culinary, Konen has come up with projects like Cake Wars, Cup Cake Wars, and the Great Food Truck Race. Within each project, Konen has students from other classes taste and judge the food.

“I think kids are interested in fun things like that,” said Konen. “It is fun to see the kids that come. We have star athletes, kids that aren’t in athletics, freshmen that aren’t involved in anything but here they are volunteering. Our big thing is giving back to the community of Dillon.”

The enthusiasm within the department has grown the school’s Family, Career, Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Chapter into the largest in the state with 48 kids affiliated and at the FCCLA virtual convention, BCHS earned the honor of Montana’s FCCLA Star Chapter.