ANNAPOLIS, MD (Jan. 31, 2023) – The ABYC Foundation has recognized Kevin McKiernan, a marine service technology teacher from North Providence High School (NPHS) in Rhode Island as the 2022 Educator of the Year. The annual award honors extraordinary marine service technology instructors teaching in a high school, post-secondary school, or within the industry.

“Kevin McKiernan has a direct link to the industry, which is one of many factors that swayed us,” Sarah Devlin, the ABYC Foundation’s accreditation director responsible for the recently launched Marine Trades Accreditation Program (MTAP), says. “His goal is to not only teach his students but also to launch them into a career in the marine industry. This type of long-term thinking and guidance is vital.”

“What we’re doing here is trying to get some kids into the field,” said McKiernan. “Local businesses feel that by supporting us, we can support them.” McKiernan’s ties with Safe Harbor, Hinckley, Bristol Marine and others including IYRS School of Technology and Trades drive that mission. “I’ve had the school’s valedictorian in my class, and I’ve had reluctant learners,” he said. “My question to them is: ‘Who likes to build stuff?’ I’m your guy.”

“Kevin’s only focus is on the student and trying to help that specific student excel at the areas they are strong in, and get more confident in the areas they are not,” said Russ Clearo, owner of RC Marine Electric, who nominated McKiernan. “With the program that he is running at NPHS, staffing shortages will be remedied in the near future. I will have no problem employing any students that I know have been instructed by Kevin.”

As the 2022 ABYC Foundation Educator of the Year, McKiernan receives an engraved clock, a free ABYC professional-level certification class, and free registration for the ABYC Foundation’s Educator Training Conference in 2024.

To learn more about the award recipients and the ABYC Foundation’s work with educators, the Marine Trades Accreditation Program (MTAP), and the Educator Training Conference, visit www.teachboats.org. To nominate a teacher for consideration in 2023, visit www.teachboats.org/teacher-of-year.

Since 1954, the nonprofit American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has developed safety standards for boat design, construction, equipage, repair and maintenance. The essential global source of marine industry technical information, ABYC’s product safety standards, credentialing, education, training, and other tools help members make boating safer.

The ABYC Foundation supports the mission of the American Boat & Yacht Council, with a focus on workforce development and providing resources that create educational and lifelong career opportunities to both current and aspiring marine service technicians. To get involved, visit www.abycfoundation.org.

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