Lovcik named outstanding new CTE teacher
Brittany (Fritel) Lovcik, a 2011 graduate of Rugby High School, was named North Dakota Association of Career and Technical Educators’ Outstanding New CTE Teacher at a conference held early last month in Bismarck.
Lovcik told the Tribune she was nominated for the award at the end of the last school year.
To qualify, nominees must have taught in career and technical education for 3 to 5 years.
The award winners were announced at the North Dakota Career and Technical Education Department’s professional development conference August 6-8.
“I was nominated for Family and Consumer Science New Teacher of the Year at first, and I won that,” Lovcik said. “That was awesome.”
“Then, there’s a big award at the conference,” Lovcik explained. “The big award is New Outstanding CTE Teacher of the Year. And that’s the same criteria as the FACS Teacher of the Year, but it’s for five areas such as Ag education, counseling, FACS, and Tech.”
Lovcik said she didn’t think she’d win that award.
“My friends and I were kind of laughing, because we were reading this program, and reading about these people who were nominated for this award, and we were saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, these are amazing teachers!’ And I just didn’t feel like I was going to get it compared to them, because they were doing amazing things,” she recalled with a smile.
“And when they read my name for the big award, I think my jaw hit the floor. I looked at the screen, and I was like, ‘Is that my name?’ And the guy from the ACTE (Association for Career and Tech Education) started laughing, and said, ‘come here.’ I thought, ‘Is that really me?'”
According to literature from the Bismarck conference, Lovcik received the award for building “an excellent, full time FACS program at Rolette Public School.”
Lovcik described her approach to education: “I don’t teach very traditionally in the first place. I don’t have textbooks in my classroom. I refuse to use them. I think it limits me in my teaching. If I have a textbook, I’m afraid I might just cheat and get sloppy and only use that. So, I have one copy for me, so I can get credible resources and information, and take that to create lessons.”
She added, “Every year, I push myself to introduce new classes or new projects, so if something wasn’t super awesome last year, I can look at it and beef it up for next year. I teach very hands-on, because that’s also how I learn.”
Lovcik said the hands-on approach in her classes helps students struggling in areas such as math.
“If they don’t get fractions, we put them in the kitchen (to do measurements), and then it clicks. It makes sense. “
Lovcik teaches classes on clothing and fashion design, foods, child development and an independent living/life skills class for seniors.
“There’s a huge push for bringing the programs (in life skills) back, ” Lovcik observed, citing an article she read about companies such as Google noticing a lack of basic skills in younger workers.
Rolette High’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter has grown to 20 members under Lovcik’s direction.
The daughter of Kevin and Carol* Fritel, Lovcik grew up on a ranch outside of Knox. She participated in student council and sports as a student at Rugby High, but didn’t participate in home economics activities, because there was no Family and Consumer Science program at RHS.
“Rugby doesn’t have a Home Ec or FACS program. They still don’t,” Lovcik noted. “I know they want one, though.”
“I would have loved it (if Rugby had a FACS program),” she added. It would have been my area. Once I found out I could teach it, it was like, holy smokes, I can teach this! Because when I was in school, I had to relate everything to real life to learn it.”
* Corrected from print edition. The Tribune regrets the error.
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