James Shoemake, Secondary Teacher of the Year Nominee

Health Science students at Ford High School are graduating with a diploma in one hand and a career in the other. Real-world learning defines James Shoemake’s classes as his students participate in traditional classroom learning while attending clinical rotations at Hunt Regional Healthcare in Greenville and working to acquire an EKG certification.


Mr. Shoemake has scheduled hospital clinical rotations for his students to learn how different departments and jobs operate. Departments include EKG, labor and delivery, newborn nursery, phlebotomy, ICU, and both speech and physical therapy.  They shadow nurses and technicians and are able to see firsthand how their classroom learning applies to the real-world.  Our students are welcomed by the hospital due to their desire to learn and high-standards of behavior.


Recently, FHS acquired an EKG machine to be used for the hands-on lessons, which include both correct lead placement and interpretation of results. These practical lessons, along with background information about heart anatomy, cardiac disease processes, and ethics training will prepare students for the EKG Technician certification exam. Mr. Shoemake was very excited to start using the machine on Monday, March 26, 2018. Pictured is Shoemake giving his first lesson using the electrocardiogram machine. 


For the past two years, students in Health Science have had numerous visitors in the field come and speak to them. Air Evac has sent their helicopters with flight medics to FHS for demonstrations. An emergency room nurse from Baylor University Medical Center spent the day with students explaining various aspects of her career and even left one of her scrubs which now decorates a wall in the classroom.


More than teaching, Mr. Shoemake has become a vital team member of Ford High School and Quinlan ISD. Mr. Shoemake has become a mentor in servant leading. He guided his students in multiple community service projects. His classes held a coat drive for Terrell State Hospital. His students also spearheaded the annual Toys for Tots gift drive for Ford High School students in conjunction with Hunt County Kids, Inc. Further, his students planned and coordinated a giving-back Christmas party to deserving students from A.E. Butler Intermediate School where they not only promoted Health Science careers, they mentored and celebrated the Christmas season with younger students.


We asked Mr. Shoemake to describe a lesson he could sell tickets for...


I have a lesson covering basic anatomy and physiology. I had reserved one solid week of double blocked classes for the topic to be covered. The first day I began talking to the class about the body, how it truly works, why the body moves like it does and it's reactions to various stimuli. As the discussion developed I incorporated my Promethean board. I have an application installed, which allows me to take the human body and articulate it 360 degrees.


The application also enables users to touch various body parts and with each touch, the next layer of the body is revealed. As we progressed through the first-day discussion, I assigned each student to a partner, giving each pair a particular area of A&P to research and challenged them to use whatever technology and resources they desired to create a presentation to cover their4 topic so deeply even I would not have questions. I was so proud of my students when I witnessed their creations and watched them present their projects, witnessing their classmates interacting with them. I have never been happier with the results of a lesson. My objective is to facilitate to students learning at least one new thing every day. I want the students to enjoy learning and view the process as a positive interaction. 


We are proud of the many careers in healthcare Mr. Shoemake is opening for our Health Science students!



~ Alice Lafferty

   Director of Secondary Instruction