The green-shirted construction students in Jay Eichmann’s career technical education classroom at Clovis High School listened intently as turquoise-jacketed instructors taught them how to treat burns, bandage impalements and broken bones, and deal with other injuries that can occur on a job site.
Check out my other School Zone columns at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.
They may even have been listening more intently than usual, because their teachers were students about their same age — health care students who came from Clovis East to do peer teaching.
Dr. Kelly Eichmann said she’s been bringing her career technical education students to her husband’s classroom for a few years now. There’s a double benefit, says Eichmann, who was recently named one of Fresno County’s 2022 Educators of the Year. The construction class students get hands-on training in how to handle common first-aid situations, and the health care students cement their knowledge of first aid while teaching it.
Also in School Zone:
- Fresno City College students’ longtime parking woes are about to end.
- Tech apprenticeships launched for low-income community college students.
- Kids in Madera County will be a little warmer this winter.
- Kudos to these award winners!
“It’s so different from teaching to their peers who already know the material versus teaching to a group that doesn’t,” she said. “They’ve already asked me some clarifying questions, they’ve already made some adjustments, even this morning, to their presentation. And what typically happens is we go back to the classroom, we retool, what should we add? What should we eliminate? And then knowing your audience, so we try to make our presentations that speak to the audience. It’s meaningful to them.
“Throughout the year, their presentation skills get better and better. And then when there are opportunities that come up in the community to do a health fair or an event at the hospital, that they’re much more likely to step up because they feel confident.”
And that confidence extends to the students learning from the peer teachers. Construction student Giovanna Fike said she “definitely learned a lot” about how to use a defibrillator to restart someone’s heart.
“I definitely feel more comfortable that I could do it too, and that everyone around me in this class is going to be able to do it in case I go down also,” she said.
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Hails Opening of New Parking Garage
The days of having to arrive extra early to secure a parking place on the Fresno City College campus or in nearby neighborhoods may be about to end with the opening of the college’s long-awaited parking structure.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the garage, located at 1525 E. Weldon Ave. near Blackstone Avenue on the east side of the campus. Refreshments will be served, and to help the college know how many cookies to order, guests are asked to register on Eventbrite.
College President Robert Pimentel acknowledges that it is somewhat unusual to hail the opening of a parking garage: “While some might be amused that we ‘celebrate’ the opening of this parking structure, we think it’s a great accomplishment as we know how much it will contribute to the success of our students. By helping them find parking quickly they won’t have to worry about getting to class late. The simple act of finding parking can make a big difference in making the college experience less stressful.”
Construction on the five-level structure began in October 2020, and yes, there were delays that postponed completion of the 864 much-needed parking stalls (there are an additional 125 stalls in adjacent lots). Total cost: $18.3 million. Whom do we thank? The district taxpayers whose property taxes are underwriting Measure C, which voters passed in 2016 and which funded the project.
Bitwise Joins College in Launching Tech Apprenticeships
Bitwise Industries announced this month it is partnering with Calbright College, California’s first statewide online community college focused on workforce development training, in an apprenticeship program to support low-income and other underrepresented students who traditionally have lacked access to such programs.
The yearlong program will provide paid opportunities for training, education, and employment in tech jobs such as Salesforce and information technology support.
Calbright will provide pre-apprenticeship training, and then graduates will go under the direction of Bitwise senior-level developers who will guide them in actual work projects.
“This partnership aligns with our mission of providing pathways to high wage, high growth quality tech jobs through training of in-demand skills,” said Michelle Skoor, Bitwise Industries chief workforce officer. “This type of collaboration is an example of how organizations across sectors can directly invest into creating a diverse and equitable workforce with underserved individuals.”
Madera Students Get New Sweaters
Madera Unified recently handed out 500 sweaters to students at Nishimoto Elementary School thanks to a gift from Madera Unified alum Ahmed “Mike” Alamari, now president of Pacific Farm Management and Cal-Pacific Supply Inc.
Alamari, who grew up in Madera, gave away 500 jackets last year to Madera Unified students.
“Receiving a donation like this greatly benefits the families we serve. The percentage of students living below the poverty level in our district is higher than the overall percentage for California,” said Elia Medina, director of Madera Unified’s Community Services and Parent Resource Centers. “Therefore, donations to our community go beyond a simple donation — they make a true difference in our families.”
Congratulations to These Award winners
- Alysha Curtis has been honored as the 2022 Collegiate New Face of Civil Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers. New Faces of Civil Engineering highlights 10 up-and-coming civil engineering leaders from around the country and celebrates their academic achievements and commitment to serving others. Curtis, the only woman to earn an engineering degree in her graduating class at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, transferred to Fresno State in 2021 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a minor in construction management from the Lyles College of Engineering. “This is probably the biggest recognition I’ve received,” Curtis said. “Many times throughout my educational career I have been the only woman in a room full of men so receiving this honor confirmed that I chose the correct path.”
- The Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools has won two outstanding awards for its Fresno Rural Teacher Residency Program — the California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award and Apple for Excellence Award. The goal of Fresno County’s program, which is a model for the state, is to recruit, retain and support a teacher workforce that reflects the community demographics in those respective geographic areas within Fresno County. In its first year, Rural Residency recruited 19 residents, 80% of whom self-identified as Latino and 60% who identified as being from a rural community. Upon successful completion of the program, 74% were hired by rural district residency partners and neighboring rural districts.
- Fresno State’s College of Health and Human Services celebrated 10 individuals — all Fresno State alumni — for their contributions to the community during the 12th annual Health and Human Services Hero Awards on Nov. 17. The awardees are Steve Aoki, director of event services at the Save Mart Center; Fresno Police Department chaplain Thomas Broach; interpreter Nikki Chance, who helped spearhead Fresno State’s interpreting degree program; Carol Johnson, former licensed clinical social worker for Mariposa County and the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla; Connie Negrete, Sanger Unified physical education teacher and athletic director; Wendy Osifako, child welfare worker; Joe Prado, assistant director of the Fresno County Department of Public Health; Kris Ramirez, pediatric physical therapist at Exceptional Parents Unlimited; retired athletic trainer Russ Richardson; and Robin Wood, health program manager for California’s Valued Trust.