DC Everest Phy. Ed Teacher Receives National Honor

By: Leah Kraus Email
By: Leah Kraus Email

D.C. Everest High School Physical Education Teacher, Joanna Bailey will be honored as the Midwest District High School later this month at a convention in North Carolina.

Bailey, a physical education teacher at Everest for the past nine years, will vie with four other district winners for the distinguished honor of National High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. This award is sponsored by National Association for Sport and Physical Education and Sportime, an innovator of equipment and services for physical educators.

Describing her teaching philosophy Bailey says, “I want students to learn how physical education is interlinked with all other aspects of their lives – their physical health, psychological health, and why physical activity positively affects their ability to learn and retain information.”

In Bailey’s school district, there are 10 distinct curriculums designed to offer students a range of activities to explore. Students may choose from Cardio Fit, Dance and Fitness, Strength and Conditioning among others.

Technology plays an integral role in her program as well. Students use heart rate monitors, Fitnessgram for assessments, and iPad applications and flip cameras to receive instant and constant feedback on performance.

“Many students are taking more than what’s required for physical education. This trend in my school has continued despite the recent reduction in the graduation requirements from two credits to one and a half. I believe this is a true testament to how dynamic and engaging our program has become,” says Bailey.

The Midwest District represents six states from Illinois to Wisconsin. The award is given in recognition of outstanding teaching performance at the high school level and the ability to motivate today's youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.

The National Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award recipients will be announced on Friday, April 26, at the NASPE Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by Playworld Systems®, a leading manufacturer of imaginative playground equipment and the creator of ENERGI™ Total Body Fitness System.

A former D.C. Everest graduate is also in the running for National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the year. She's San Diego, CA resident Mary Lou Baranowski.

Baranowski teaches at Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary and will be honored as the southwest District Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. She's taught for the past 24 years.

Like many schools, the phys. ed. budget is limited for Baranowski. She says "without a gymnasium, budget, and not even a patch of gass on the school's campus, I have to be creative and motivated to make up for the lack of resources." She regularly invites members of the community, such as Marines and Olympians to work with students and often converts her classroom into a fitness lab.

Baranowski received her bachelor's degree in Physical Education from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and a master's degree from San Diego State University.

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