A.W. Beattie teacher honored with SkillsUSA Western Pennsylvania Advisor of the Year Award

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 8:07 AM

A.W. Beattie instructor Heather Brown, of Hampton, was recently named the 2019 SkillsUSA Western Pennsylvania Advisor of the Year.

She was nominated by North Allegheny senior Seth Ryder who wrote an essay on Mrs. Brown’s commitment to preparing students for careers and college and her dedication to guiding students in SkillsUSA.

“Mrs. Brown is always around to help with any project, and she’s always giving us feedback whether what we’re working on looks good or needs to be improved,” Ryder said. “She’s someone to turn to for advice for anything, and she definitely goes above and beyond and somehow manages to balance it all out to be there for everyone.”

Brown is seemingly involved in everything – she ran the SkillsUSA Western Pennsylvania conference with CBC instructor John Brown, organized the Nov. 16 Holiday Vendor and Craft Show with more than 130 vendors at the career center and is an Advertising Design teacher.

With her time managed by “immediately” focusing on whatever needs to be done next, it was easy to keep the nomination and award a secret from her.

“Apparently, it started with Seth, and then Mr. Brown, Mr. Dumbeck and Mr. Heasley all had a hand in it,” Mrs. Brown said. “I was truly oblivious. They did really good keeping this a secret.”

Ryder presented the award to Heather Brown at a SkillsUSA conference where she concentrated more on his delivery – he was nervous about speaking in front of hundreds of people – than who he was actually describing.

“I was mostly focused on the fact he was giving a really well-thought out and well-written speech,” Heather Brown said. “I was really proud of him for doing a really great job and was thinking about how well he would do at states. Then the last couple sentences he said, ‘Thank you to my advisor and my instructor,’ and all of a sudden it hit me.”

Heather Brown called it special to be honored.

“I’m not doing anything that other advisors aren’t doing,” she said. “I’m working for our students, making sure they have what they need, making sure we have enough funds to do what we want to do in SkillsUSA. So, I wouldn’t say I am doing anything particularly noteworthy compared to every other advisor. It’s still really nice to be recognized.”

SkillsUSA advisors are part coach and educator, Heather Brown said. She was inspired by advisors she had at Forbes Road CTC to stay involved in the organization to give her students the same opportunities she had.

“Advisors show you the professional skills you need to become successful in whatever field you’re in, and we try to do that in a fun and positive way,” Heather Brown said. “I also want the educational experience here at Beattie to be something that’s memorable, so the fact Seth felt strongly enough to do this means he must be having a good time.”