PAYETTE COUNTY — A Payette High School alum is being recognized in her teaching career today, earning a national award for her efforts. At a virtual conference held Sept. 14-16, the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences honored University of Idaho, Payette County Extension educator Joey Peutz with their 2020 Extension Educator of the Year award.

According to a press release, Peutz was honored for “providing program leadership, embracing professional development and programming innovation.” It also noted Peutz’ service as western region director for the association from 2014 to 2016, attending 18 of the association’s national annual sessions.

The release also notes Peutz completed the Lead 21 and Western Extension Leadership Development programs.

“The NEAFCS Extension Educator of the Year award recognizes a professional extension family and consumer sciences educator who is conducting outstanding educational programs that demonstrate impact on families,” according to the release. “The member, who has previously received the Distinguished Service Award and Continued Excellence Award, is also involved in continued professional improvement services and is active in professional organizations. Joey Peutz’s commitment to meeting the needs of individuals, families and communities is exemplary.”

In an email dated Oct. 13, Peutz said the award is not one that comes around often.

“It is a great honor to receive this award,” wrote Peutz. “As I think about past award recipients and their accomplishments, I am grateful (and humbled) to be included with such a respected and impressive group. Only one Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator is recognized each year nationally. I truly attribute my success to working with amazing colleagues in my district (9 counties in the greater Treasure Valley area), the state and the nation. The support of my District Director, Dr. Pat Momont and Assoc. Dean Extension Director, Dr. Barbara Petty allowing me to be innovative and creative has been immeasurable.”

Peutz said she aims to reach community members and their families through programs anchored in scholarship and supported by those who share in the outcomes.

“Highlighted programming efforts include Master Food Safety Advisor, Preserve@Home, Ready, Set Food Safe, Germ City, Eat Smart Idaho, 4-H Food Smart Families, Strong Women Stay Young/Strong Women Strong Bones, and  4-H Youth Development Summer STEAM Day Camps.  I currently lead the Well Connected Communities Initiative for Idaho (working to build a culture of health.)  I was a co-leader for a team who completed a study to measure the effectiveness of and the public value of the Eat Smart Idaho program.”

Peutz hopes her work helps the community prosper and support one another.

“As an Extension Educator I do very little teaching for credit but engage with the community to improve lives and to help build a thriving and healthy community.”

The award is sponsored by the association’s awards fund.

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