(Editor’s note: The following story was republished with permission of the Independence Bulletin Journal in Independence, Iowa. Tia Shaffer ’05 earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education degree at Upper Iowa University. She also holds certifications in elementary education, middle school classroom, and K-8 reading and K-8 English/language arts from UIU.)
Tia Shaffer, family and consumer sciences teacher at the Independence (Iowa) Jr/Sr high School, was awarded the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Iowa Affiliate’s Newcomer of the Year award. This is given to identify and honor emerging FCS professionals who have exhibited the potential to make significant contributions to the field through their involvement in AAFCS.
“I am especially pleased about this award, as Tia Shaffer is a former student and advisee of mine at UIU!,” said Cindy Waters, professor emerita at Upper Iowa University and former family and consumer sciences teacher at Independence. “I knew then she was a mover and a shaker and she has proven that.”
According to Waters, Shaffer’s career path started as a “non-traditional student with many related life experiences when she graduated with an elementary degree with endorsements in language arts, reading, pre-K, and middle school.” Shaffer worked as a middle school FCS instructor, a fifth grade instructor, then back to FCS. She then finished her FCS endorsement and then earned a master’s degree.
Shaffer has held several leadership roles with the Iowa Affiliate AAFCS, including president. She has also been a leader in the teachers’ association. She initiated FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) into the Independence district just two years ago and had three students move on to the state STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) event competition this year.
“Tia is an outstanding networker for our organization and is such a positive role model – professional, enthusiastic, positive, ethical,” said Waters. “I am so grateful that her career path took the journey it did and led her to FCS.”