Introducing the faces of the Health Science department

Upon entering the room gentle wisps of air from the pumping of blood pressure cuffs could be felt streaming through the drums of students’ ears as the scene before them unfolded into an array of learning to save the lives of those in need.

The Health Science Department has forever been a key attribute in inspiring students to engage in everything the healthcare field has to offer. But does anyone happen to know who the faces behind those inspirations are? Lindsay Savala, Amy Miner, and newest recruit Hailey Kirkpatrick are the teachers behind the scenes ensuring the success of students ready to learn and make their mark on the world. Whether it be teaching, nursing, or athletic training, these three women have dedicated their lives to helping those around them.

Savala, WHS’ Practicum, Pharmacology, and EMT teacher, was an athletic trainer for six years before becoming a teacher here at the high school. She was an athlete herself when attending school, so she felt a special calling to becoming an athletic trainer all those years ago.

“I went to a camp at TCU for athletic training to figure things out, and from then on I was sold,” Savala said.

When asked why she decided to switch into teaching, which has now become an 11-year career, she said, “It was a way to share my passion. I had gone into things with no experience, no knowledge, no nothing. I don’t know how I made it in, but they (TCU) took a chance on me. Now I want to help students get as far as they can.”

In addition to teaching three different classes and inspiring students to strive to be the best versions of themselves, Savala has also always been WHS’ leading HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) chapter advisor up until this year.

She decided to step back and let Miner take over as the new leading advisor as she juggles a third certification course that has just recently been implemented into the Practicum class that she has taught for several years.

When approached about what advice she would give Miner as she takes on this new position, she said, “Mrs. Miner is an outstanding teacher. It’s hard for me to juggle pharmacology, practicum, and EMT. She’s on top of it. My advice to her is to keep doing what she’s doing.”

Miner has “always taken care of people and enjoys helping others,” which is what inspired her to go into the medical field. Although she had originally gone to school to become a teacher, she had a change of heart and decided to become a nurse instead.

She began her nursing career in 2009, happy to have the “opportunity to help when someone was at their worst and pick them up.” The next several years was time well spent sharing her medical gifts with the world before she decided to switch into teaching after having her kids.

“When I had my kids the schedule was pretty difficult,” Miner said.

Now that she has been a full-time teacher since 2016 her favorite part of the day has become “watching [her] students get excited about the future and trying to reach their full potential.”

In addition to enjoying her life as a teacher, she is also excited about her new position as the HOSA advisor.

“I’m excited about all the stuff y’all have planned and getting to take a lot of students to competition,” Miner said.

The Health Science Department’s newest recruit, Kirkpatrick, was especially excited about attending competition last year because it was her first year to be teaching at the school.

Before becoming a teacher, Kirkpatrick was originally a nurse that was ready to get out there and help as many people as she could. Going into the medical field was all that she had ever dreamed of doing after finishing high school.

“I went into it after watching a St. Jude’s infomercial in high school. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and I felt like nursing was the best way to make the biggest impact,” Kirkpatrick said.

When asked what were the highlights of nursing she said, “I worked in hospice, so it was nice being able to help people in their last moments of life.”

She remained a nurse for six years before beginning her teaching career last year here at the high school.

Kirkpatrick said, “I went into teaching because I felt God was calling me to help students and spark their interests in the health field.”

Even though she hasn’t been a teacher for very long she already enjoys “building relationships with the students and seeing them go way beyond what [she] ever expected and seeing them reach their full potential.”

“I love my students,” Kirkpatrick said.

Her advice to her students that wish to go into the medical field is that “there are so many opportunities and you can help so many people in so many different ways. It is the most rewarding thing you will ever do.”

This, ladies and gentlemen, are the faces of the Health Science Department.