Levi Teasley is accustomed as a teacher to handing out the top marks, but this fall he found himself on the receiving end of recognition for excellence in the classroom.

Teasley, a physical education teacher at Ellensburg High School, was awarded the state’s P.E. Teacher of the Year at the high school level by the Society of Health and Physical Educators Washington (SHAPE).

“I was very humbled by being nominated,” Teasley said. “I am passionate about health and fitness … across the state, so many P.E. teachers worked so hard, including those in my building, once again I am just honored and humbled to receive it.”

Judy Beard, president of SHAPE and teacher at Central Washington University knew Teasley when they went through the same undergraduate program at CWU and completed their masters together. She said that he was “instrumental” in earning her Ph.D.

“We find Teasley to be a phenomenal human,” Beard said. “Both inside and outside of the school setting. Just the fact that he has been such a positive role model for so many kids I think has needed recognition for quite a while. He is one of the most dedicated individuals that I have ever known in education to where I truly believe he cares about each and every one of his students and plans accordingly to differentiate his instruction to meet their needs every single day.”

Teasley was presented the award during the SHAPE conference Oct. 10-12.

Teasley said that he loves his job and does his best to bring enthusiasm and energy to the gym every day. Working with kids is something is something he enjoys, and he wants to teach the individual student, so that he can understand the best way to teach him or her.

He does this by getting to know the students, learning what their interests are and how that can relate to their education. He helps his students set goals that they can work toward, and then helps them set steps to achieve those goals.

Athletics were a part of Teasley’s life growing up, and he always loved being active. He had a lot of influential people in his life who helped guide him to this path and gave him his passion for health and fitness. One of these people was Randy Affholter. Affoholter was Teasley’s P.E. teacher and football coach when he was a student at EHS. When Teasley became a teacher, he got the chance to work with him.

While Teasley was in college at CWU, he knew that he wanted to do something fitness related, but did not yet know that he wanted to become a teacher. At the university, he got the chance to work with kids through camps, and it was then that he realized “man I really like working with kids.” He then declared his major in health and P.E. which combined two of the things he really loved.

“I loved every part of my education at Central. I had amazing professors, Dr. (Kirk) Mathias and Dr. Ken Briggs were people that continued to grow that passion for health and fitness,” Teasley said.

Another important people in Teasley’s life was Scott Botten, who he student taught under. Botten was Teasley’s first mentor and individual that he got to work with. Rob Moffat was another teacher who first showed him how to teach kids.

Teasley is currently in his 16th year of teaching, and his 15th year of teaching at EHS. When he first graduated from CWU, he taught a year at Morton Elementary before coming back to Ellensburg, where he is currently teaching.

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