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EDUCATOR SPOTLIGHT: Danette Russell
Extension Educator, FCS/4-H
Danette Russell began her career with the OSU Extension Service in 2005. She is a former Family and Consumer Sciences High School teacher of sixteen years.
Danette’s programs emphasize the areas of Nutrition Education, Jobs & Employment skills and Financial Management. One of the most popular programs is Leadership LeFlore County. This program is made possible by a partnership with the Poteau Chamber of Commerce and various businesses in LeFlore County. Class participants learn leadership skills and also form many new contacts in county government and business which become important in their career paths. Many graduates of the program have gone on to become elected officials and obtain upper management positions with their companies. Leadership LeFlore County has become so well respected that there is a waiting list of applicants each year.
Danette has also led many 4-H learning experiences, teaching the youth sewing and cooking skills, as well as etiquette, public speaking and leadership skills. She also brought the Farm to You program to LeFlore County so that area school students could learn how food works with the body to create good health.
Danette chose the career goal of becoming an Extension Educator while in high school, participating in home economics classes. The county FCS educator came to the class and showed the students a food demonstration and some quick clean-up methods. She was hooked. Later, her family moved to Florida, where she became closely acquainted with the Liberty County FCS Educator, learning more about the career. The OSU Extension position did not become available to Danette until many years later.
Danette enjoys working with the residents of the county and is especially close with the Oklahoma Home and Community members. She enjoys working with them in their yearly projects. Some of these are the LeFlore Co. OHCE Scholarship program, Raising Young Readers, Dress a Girl Around the World, donations to the Women’s Crisis Center, Boys and Girls Club and Grace Cottage.
Danette enjoys meeting new people in the far corners of the sixth largest land area county in Oklahoma. “It is so enjoyable to help others learn a new skill and to feel that they really do appreciate my efforts. No two days are alike in this profession,” says Danette.