By Faith Miller
Maj. Irving Fannell (Ret.) explained his road to teaching at Lennard High School along with some of his favorite moments.
On February 28, 1983, Fannell enlisted into military service as a “combat medic and physical therapy assistant,” then went on to receive his commission to become an officer in 1996. From 2008 to 2012, he was the Army healthcare recruiter in Tampa, recruiting “for doctors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals.”
His last eight years for the Army was active duty from July 2012 until 2015. During this time, he was assigned as the “personal officer for the 338th Medical Brigade for over 2,000 soldiers.” This added up to be 32 years spent in the medical administration field for the military.
Due to his BS teaching degree in physical education and health along with a MS degree in special education, Fannell turned to teaching after retiring from the military.
“I have always had a love for teaching and I thought that teaching Army JROTC would be an excellent way to give back and help young people,” said Fannell.
Fanell explained that some of his favorite topics to teach his students are “first aid, nutrition and how to do a budget.” When describing the class to a prospective student, he explains what the student should expect when it comes to marching, their uniform and physical training. He also explains possible volunteer opportunities for the student along with Color Guard and Raider Competitions.
“It truly does help young people to become better citizens. It teaches discipline, goal setting and gives the students a well-rounded program that is different from their other classes,” said Fannell.
Fanell described one of his favorite memories from teaching as the time he helped one of his students realize what they were truly capable of a few years ago. The student had been struggling academically and had a long way to go to be able to graduate.
However, the student eventually began working harder and doing everything needed for them to graduate. After graduating, the student went to an Air Force recruiter and enlisted into the branch.
Once they had completed basic training and advanced individual training, they returned to the school to thank Fannell, along with his co-worker MSG Bailes, for “helping them change their life and guiding them to a life that they were happy to be in as they felt that this was a pathway to success.”