By providing their students with safety training, educators gain the satisfaction of knowing they have educated their students academically and improved their students' safety and employability.







Mary Foxworth, Tulsa Technology Center-Lemley Campus, Oklahoma


Mary Foxworth, a literacy and academic instructor at Tulsa Technology Center-Lemley Campus, has spent the last 44 years believing that students must be prepared for the workplace and their futures. She supports students throughout their technical and academic educations by guiding and training them on soft skills to complement their CTE programs. 

“My passion is the same today as it was in the past,” Foxworth said.  “Career Technical Education is a very positive approach to ensuring students receive a great education, training in a specific career path, and safety training.”

Foxworth believes much of her students’ successes are due to their own drive and taking advantage of the various training offered to them, whether they are interested in welding, culinary arts or health science tech. As part of that, she designs her curriculum to support students who need preparation to enter the workforce. In her classroom, students learn how to write and create resumes, cover letters, business cards and emails. They not only cover ethics and how to dress for an interview, but also complete preparation for college applications and scholarships, along with taking workplace safety training.

“We provide a quiet place to work on [OSHA training] and help our students with any language barriers,” Foxworth said. “We also offer assistance in reading and math subjects which helps them with comprehension and understanding what they are trying to get out of the course.”

Foxworth feels additional credentials are a great item for students to list on their resumes. Having spoken with industry professionals in Oklahoma, she knows companies look for students who have already received an OSHA 10-Hour credential, because it will save a company time and money—and make them safer and better workers. 

“Our students come to the Academic Center and say they just want to weld or be a carpenter; sometimes they do not understand the importance of safety to themselves, their team and the company,” Foxworth said. “The online OSHA training has definitely assisted our students in becoming aware of potential dangers and what they need to correct the danger or prevent an accident of any type.”  

And safety is just as important in her students’ lab or on their worksite as it is in her classroom. Foxworth has her students complete projects on safety statistics for their career pathway, drug awareness posters and her students often work on projects for contests or CTSO competitions. 

“Whether it’s an English paper, a safety poster or presentation for HOSA, we help them get ready for whatever they need,” Foxworth said. “My kids learn presentation and speech skills, build PowerPoints, write and prepare speeches and receive help in improving study skills.”

One of the biggest highlights of her curriculum is the two-day mock interviews she conducts with her students. Up until this point, Foxworth has taught her students how many of the soft skills they will need to make a good first impression. She brings in real industry professionals into the classroom to conduct interviews and give her students real life perspectives on the job hiring process.

Named the 2016 Oklahoma CareerTech Teacher of the Year, it is clear Foxworth goes above and beyond the call of duty to motivate, educate and support her students.

“We want students to be the best person, citizen and community leader they can be,” Foxworth said. “I believe our students know we care and that we have a passion to assist them anyway we can in meeting their goals. We encourage them to continue to learn and believe in themselves.”


CareerSafe wants to recognize teachers and CTE directors around the country that are taking strides to educate youth in workplace safety. Each month, CareerSafe will introduce you to an educator that has been implementing CareerSafe courses in his or her classroom. These educators strive to make a difference one student at a time. Nominate a teacher today!

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