Newman University student’s family named ‘Family of the Year’

Apr 09, 2012

Newman University sophomore Elizabeth Peuchen’s family has been named the Kansas Family of the Year by the Kansas chapter of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), part of the Kansas State Department of Education.

In celebration of the award, the Peuchen family was treated to breakfast with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his wife, Mary, and attended a FCCLA convention in Wichita.

Newman sophomore Elizabeth Peuchen, far right, with family members, from left, Eep, Jane, Jonathan, Rachel and Andrew.

The award is presented each year to a Kansas family by the Kansas chapter of the FCCLA, a national organization for young men and women in public and private schools through grade 12. The FCCLA’s mission is to promote personal growth and leadership development though Family and Consumer Sciences education. The organization helps members develop skills for life through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge, and career preparation. It offers programs in community service, violence prevention, financial education, leadership skills and other topics.

Families are nominated for the Family of the Year award by fellow members of the FCCLA, and are selected for their support and efforts to foster the development of the FCCLA.

The Peuchen family resides in Assaria, Kan., near Salina. The family consists of Elizabeth, 20, a graduate of Southeast of Saline High School who is majoring in chemistry at Newman; her father, Eep; mother, Jane; sister, Rachel, 18, and twin brothers Jonathon and Andrew, 16.

Elizabeth Peuchen said family members received a call over spring break from Mary Brownback informing them of the award. Family members enjoyed a breakfast with the Brownbacks April 3, and were the Brownbacks’ guests at the KFCCLA State Leadership Showcase, which took place April 2 and 3 at Century II in Wichita. The conference featured a variety of presentations and national speakers regarding the importance of family and leadership.

Elizabeth said she and other family members have been active in a variety of civic and academic organizations. Elizabeth served on her high school student council and strategic planning committee, and was a state officer of the Kansas Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO), an organization sponsored by the KSDE that includes such groups as Business Professionals of America, the National FFA Organization (formerly Future Farmers of America), Health Occupations Students of America, and the FCCLA. Her siblings have also served on student councils and the CTSO, and both parents have been part of school board committees and other leadership activities.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” Elizabeth said. “Our family has always been real supportive of each other for their leadership activities, and we’ve always had strong, supportive parents.”

The family was formally presented with the award at a luncheon April 3, which was part of the KFCCLA conference.