Practice what you teach – that’s Lisa Stevens’ credo.
The physical education teacher at Fassett Middle School not only talks the talk about the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle, she also walks the walk.
Stevens gets up before daybreak to get in a morning workout. She is also an active member of the Toledo Road Runners Club.
And when it comes to a morning snack, she’ll make a point of opting for a slice of bagel or fruit instead of a donut.
Through her vocation and her example, Stevens has encouraged and helped her students, fellow staff members and parents find ways to become healthier and more active.
For her efforts, on Dec. 4, Stevens was honored as Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Ohio Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
The award is presented annually to a member of the organization who has been nominated by and selected by peers for “epitomizing personal health and fitness, enjoyment of activity, sportsmanship and sensitivity to the needs of students.” The recipient also has made significant contributions to the field of physical fitness.
It’s an honor she describes as “awesome.”
“I was shocked and very humbled,” she said. “I’m fortunate to be able to be working in a job I’m passionate about,
“I don’t really look at what I do as exceptional.”
Fassett Principal Dean Ensey disagrees. “Her enthusiasm, her innovativeness and her genuine concern for students is exemplary,” Ensey wrote, in his nomination of Stevens.
The award noted Stevens’ leadership of Fassett’s “Lifetime Fitness Club,” an after-school program that she helped create with fellow teacher Maryann Bockbrader to help steer students to explore different activities and fitness opportunities available in the community.
She was also lauded for instituting a reward system that challenges physical education students of all fitness levels to achieve goals.
Her concern doesn’t just include the middle-schoolers she teaches. Stevens runs after-school fitness sessions for teachers.
She was notified about the award Oct. 23. On Halloween, she was surprised to be honored at a school assembly. “I had tears in my eyes as I went up to the stage,” she said. “Going to Columbus was awesome, but to be honored by the people I serve and work with every day – I felt so overwhelmed.
“It was kind of a blur,” she added. “I’m glad they videotaped it for me.”
Stevens, who resides in Perrysburg, earned her bachelor of science degree and master’s of art degree at BGSU, and previously taught at Otsego Local School District. She previously received NBC 24’s “Glass Apple Award” in recognition of her fitness clubs and her involvement with the Action for Healthy Kids Coalition.
Fassett Middle School teacher Lisa Stevens with State Rep. Randy Gardner, who was also honored by the Ohio Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for his efforts in promoting physical education in schools.