Southdown Primary School teacher Lynn Hefele will be honored as the Eastern District Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America at the organization’s 132nd national convention next week in Boston. She is in the running for the national teacher of the year award.
The regional award covers an area stretching from Maine to Maryland, including the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) said the award is being presented to Mrs. Hefele “in recognition of outstanding teaching performance at the elementary school level and the ability to motivate today’s youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.”
The National PE Teacher of the Year Award will be presented on Friday, March 17 during SHAPE’s Hall of Fame banquet at the convention.
“Lynn is dedicated to making sure that her students feel safe, supported and are cared for as if they were her own children,” says Scott Oshrin, principal of Southdown Primary School. “She is a teacher- leader and someone who is well-respected by students, teachers, parents, and administration. Simply put, she is everything that an educator should be.”
Southdown's Lynn Hefele will be honored
at SHAPE's national convention.
Mrs. Hefele uses a variety of creative teaching methods to engage, motivate and educate. To help her students find their physical, social, and cognitive strengths, she developed a program around the theme “Finding Our Superpowers,” with the ultimate goal of creating lifelong movers.
“Whenever we found a superpower, the student would get an avatar for our hallway and each time they got a new superpower, that power would be posted next to their photo,” Mrs. Hefele said. “Finding a superpower for each child made me look at my curriculum and find ways to offer more diverse activities and differentiate learning so that each student could succeed. By the time we celebrated back-to-school night, every child had a superpower and I had taken a personal interest in each child.”
Mrs. Hefele’s dedication to physical and emotional well-being of Southdown’s students extends beyond her classroom. When her teaching colleagues expressed a concern with students’ inability to sit still and listen, the longtime educator approached Mr. Oshrin with suggestions for creating a reading and fitness trail, incorporating kinesthetic classroom furniture, training teachers in Action-Based Learning and developing student ambassadors through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, which incorporates family fitness activities. He embraced the ideas with enthusiasm.
A member of Huntington’s faculty since 1988, Mrs. Hefele earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at Springfield College in physical education and movement science with a concentration in biomechanics, respectively. Founder and president of Literature Enhanced Physical Education, Inc., she has written and published numerous books over the past seven years.