A Clovis Unified teacher who sets the bar high for her students and then helps them leap over it, a Sanger Unified administrator who sees inclusion as integral to students’ academic success, and a Clovis Unified school employee who is passionate about helping students are this year’s Fresno County Educators of the Year.
Kelly Eichmann, a career technical education teacher at Clovis East High School, Jason Stricker, Sanger’s director of pupil services, and Gabriel Hughes, a student relations liaison at Weldon Elementary/Clark Intermediate, were honored Thursday evening at the Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno in a ceremony co-sponsored by the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools and the Educational Employees Credit Union.
They and other school employees were nominated by districts in three categories: teacher of the year, school employee of the year, and administrator of the year. Districts could nominate one person for each category.
The nominees were evaluated by a selection committee whose members reviewed the nomination packet and then narrowed each category to three finalists. The winners were chosen by closed ballot.
Eichmann and Hughes can apply for California Department of Education honors.
Eichmann has been a teacher for 22 years: “I am a teacher with consistently high standards and will help students to discover their potential. When the teacher expects the best from students and then lovingly mentors them to achieve, they transform young people with elevated self-esteem, self-respect and a can-do attitude.”
Hughes has worked in education for nine years: “I teach my students to be patient with those who are different from them and give them skills to overcome these obstacles. I chose to be in education because I feel passionate about giving back to the youth.”
Stricker has worked 15 years in education: “I believe a key educational issue that is more important than ever following the pandemic and disruption to learning has been the inclusion of students who lack readiness for classroom success. An inclusive-minded vision for all students has been an educational and moral imperative for the Pupil Services department in Sanger for many years.”