Venice High sports medicine teacher honored as a California Teacher of the Year

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November 07, 2017


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LOS ANGELES (Oct. 11, 2017) – Kirsten Farrell, a health science and medical technology teacher for Venice Senior High School, was named by State Superintendent Tom Torlakson today as one of five 2018 California Teachers of the Year. She is the only Los Angeles teacher this year to receive the honor.

“I want to thank the California Department of Education for this very special recognition,” Farrell said. “I have always been – and continue to be inspired – by my students and my many dedicated colleagues every single day.”

Farrell created one of the first L.A. Unified sports medicine teams, which she founded at Venice High in 2004 in partnership with the West Coast Sports Foundation. In addition to teaching students about anatomy, medical terminology and the ability to treat athletic injuries, the program helps them recognize signs of concussions and trains them in CPR, use of defibrillator and other life-saving techniques.

“We are incredibly proud of Ms. Farrell for this important distinction,” said L.A. Unified Acting Superintendent Vivian Ekchian. “In addition to exhibiting educational excellence, she is someone who embodies an entrepreneurial spirit. Breaking new ground in important fields, she is an amazing role model for students everywhere.”

A 21-year teaching veteran, Farrell has served Venice High for 15 years as a regional occupational program and career technical education teacher. She has taught a variety of courses, including sports medicine, medical terminology and sports therapeutics. She is also a certified athletic trainer.

“I appreciate that Venice is a true community school,” she said. “Having grown up in a mobile, military family, I am thrilled when I meet grandparents of current students who proclaim ‘Proud to be a Gondo!’”

Venice Principal Dr. Oryla Wiedoeft said that Farrell is an inspirational teacher who has a positive impact on every student who enters her classroom.

“She is an absolute superstar,” she said. “Through her vision, creativity, dedication and leadership skills, she has led the development and execution of a unique small learning community that has achieved tremendous success and helped markedly increase enthusiasm among students and enrollment at our school.”

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Shannon Haber