By Beth Taylor
Heidi Stan, a wellness educator at Riverside Junior High School was honored as the Midwest District Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) at its 130th national convention and expo in Seattle on March 17-21.
The award is given in recognition of outstanding teaching and the ability to motivate students to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.
Stan has been a wellness educator at Riverside Junior High School for the past eight years. “I’m lucky because there are five people in my department, and we borrow ideas from each other,” said Stan.
Stan said that the Riverside physical education program incorporates fitness daily. Students attend PE class three days a week and health class two days a week.
One of the goals is to keep the students active during the entire period. Whenever possible, they walk around the gym or participate in dynamic stretching to reduce “sitting and waiting” time.
“I really try to modify the way we do things to make it a lifetime achievement. I don’t spend more than five days on an activity,” said Stan. I want to give them the perspective that they can do different things for fitness–it’s not always running and push-ups.”
“Many activities that were previously large group activities have now been broken down into small-sided games to minimize lines and substitutions,” says Stan. “
Stan’s successful grant writing efforts have provided her school and district with funds to purchase much-needed equipment, including heart rate monitors, elliptical machines, adapted PE equipment, Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit, circuit equipment and even stability balls to use in the classroom as chairs.
“It’s flattering to be honored. It’s nice to know that your peers recognize what you’re doing,” said Stan. “
An active member of SHAPE America and the Indiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (IAHPERD), Stan has given multiple presentations at state and district conventions. She is also a member of the Indiana State Teachers Association and Hamilton Southeastern Education Association.
Stan received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Indiana University.