School: Venice high School
District: Los Angeles Unified School District
County: Los Angeles County
Region: Southern California
Grade: High School
Award Year: 2018
“Through my role as a teacher, I have contributed to changing the world. What I have taught my students can be compared to a pebble dropped in the water, as the ripples will continue long after I am gone. I have taught future doctors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and paramedics. Because of what has happened in Shop-6 at Venice High School, someone’s life will be saved.” — Kirsten Farrell
Farrell has been teaching for 21 years, the last 15 at Venice High School where she is the lead for the Sports Medicine Academy and serves as Sports Medicine Team facilitator. Growing up in a military family and constantly moving from place to place has given her special understanding about the importance and stability that a teacher can provide to her students. She credits her outstanding fifth grade teacher for serving as a role model who inspired her to become a teacher.
As a Regional Occupation Program/Career Technical Education teacher, her main focus is preparing students for life after high school by providing hands-on skills that can be transferred to careers and college such as taking groups to sports medicine competition trips where they learn to navigate travel, speak publicly, be independent, and be responsible to others. In addition, she is a nationally certified athletic trainer and leads a team of student trainers who are knowledgeable about CPR, wound assessment, and emergency action plans.
Gia Perrone, student, Class of 2017, said of Farrell, “From giving someone a place to heal, to giving someone a place to feel welcome, we always know we can count on Ms. Farrell. With her compassion, ability to light up a room, and her willingness to do whatever it takes for the ones around her, we can only wish for more people like her in the world.”