Janis Risley said she always wanted to work at OSU Extension, even while teaching in the Oklahoma public school system, a job she did for 22 years.
As the new FCS (Family and Consumer Science) Extension Educator and 4-H Youth Development Coordinator for the OSU Extension in Sallisaw, Risley will develop and coordinate “timely and relevant” programs in partnership with local government agencies and state, schools, churches, and civic organizations; and serve as an advisor for four Oklahoma Home and Community Education volunteer groups.
“I grew up in Sequoyah County. I graduated from high school in Vian and taught in Gans and Vian,” she said.
Risley has also taught culinary arts at the Kiamichi Tech Center in Poteau. She has also worked in Mayes and Wagoner counties.
“It feels good to be back home. I feel like my experience as a teacher and my knowledge of how different people learn helped me transition smoothly from the school system to extension. Family and consumer sciences affect literally everyone,” she said.
Risley said she intends to “expand” OHCE (Oklahoma Home Community Education) formerly known as “Extension Homemakers” clubs in this area.
“I’m so excited to work with these ladies. There are still nine active here. They do amazing work, especially in fundraising and the projects they support. They host an annual quilt show and contribute to the county fair, 4-H banquet, organize the annual 4-H Valentine Social and help Catholic charities,” she said.
“I want to help them grow their club by attending their meetings and offering programs such as Cooking Matters, Pathways to Success, My Plate for Youth, Canning Basics, Co-Parenting, Keys to Embracing Aging, Living with Diabetes, Nutrition , Weight Classes and Faithful Families First, to name a few.
Risley said she hopes to help clubs attract new members by possibly having evening meetings for those who work.
The group meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Sequoyah County Fair Grounds building and invites everyone to attend.