Felida — "We are mothers, first, foremost and always. With a proper balance, we can serve our communities yet remain a constant in the lives of our grown families." That sentiment about the role of a mother whose children have grown and moved on won Francine Cowie the title of "State Mother of the Year" from American Mothers Inc. Cowie, who has four sons and 14 grandsons, worked for 16 years as a paraeducator at Felida Elementary School. She also has been a singer, property manager, ballot inspector, homeless shelter volunteer, literacy booster and Boy Scout leader. American Mothers is an independent nonprofit established in 1954.