2021 CareerSafe National Safety Educator of the Year: Dr. Kelly Eichmann

"Kelly's one of those teachers that's just very forward thinking. She's always looking for those opportunities for her kids that will put them in a better position."

Carisa Cordova, Learning Director, Clovis East High School

From Mr. Feeny to Miss Frizzle, the media is full of depictions of that elusive unicorn of a teacher: the one who is bursting with passion for their students and the work they do. The one who goes above and beyond every day to make learning an impactful adventure. The one who changes lives. CareerSafe's National Safety Educator of the Year (NSEOTY) for 2021, Dr. Kelly Eichmann, is just such a teacher.  

Dr. Eichmann is an instructor for the Patient Care Pathway at Clovis East High School, in Clovis, California. Eichmann was one of the first educators to use the CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour program for the healthcare industry when it was released in 2015. Her students are required to reach a set benchmark point in their OSHA 10-Hour course within the first two weeks of class to be allowed to enter the lab. Then, she has students continually reach extra benchmark points to continue to enter the lab. To make the process more fun and engaging, Dr. Eichmann adds the aspect of a little healthy competition. Students get to put a special dot on the wall for each course module completion, and the first student from each class period to complete their OSHA 10-Hour certification gets their picture on the wall. Additionally, Dr. Eichmann arranges a special guest speaker each year—an event that is highly anticipated by students—and, as an extra incentive, she requires students finish their OSHA 10-Hour course in order to attend.

"When I look at her [Kelly Eichmann] and the things that she has done for our program are just incredible. She wakes up every day thinking about Career and Technical Education and how she can impact her kids."

Chuck Sandoval, Director of CTE, Clovis East Unified School District

One commonality that everyone speaks to as something that sets Kelly apart is her involvement with the community. As part of the Patient Care Pathway, Dr. Eichmann sends students to volunteer with community healthcare industry professionals to get hands-on experience. She makes an effort to learn her students' interests and passions as well as the culture and expectations of community partners, and she strives to pair students with professionals and programs that will best fit their personalities and needs. This process is extraordinarily important to her, because one of her goals is to help students discover whether the healthcare industry is the right fit for them or not—"because either of those outcomes is a good thing!" She even personally attends the community programs in which her students are involved to participate in their hands-on learning.

"The students love what they do there. They love that they can come in and practice skills, they can learn skills. They can learn about how to care for people who are ill who have different conditions and she has quite a set-up in her classroom, it's pretty amazing."

Leslie Catron, Simulation Center Director, California Health Sciences University

Dr. Eichmann is the most highly nominated instructor so far in the NSEOTY program—11 of our 50 nominations this year were for her—and her students also consistently participate in the CareerSafe National Youth Safety Essay Scholarship Contest and have won multiple times.

Dr. Eichmann's passion and dedication speaks for itself, but listening to people speak about her and share their experiences with her leaves no doubt that she is a life changing educator. Congratulations, Dr. Eichmann, and thank you for your amazing and inspiring work in safety education!

Learn more about Dr. Eichmann in our full NSEOTY video.

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