Severna Park Middle School health education teacher Nicole Beard has been named Health Education Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MAHPERD).
Beard has taught in Anne Arundel County Public Schools for 14 years. She has taught at Severna Park for the last four years and taught for 10 years at Old Mill High School prior to that.
“I am truly touched to receive this award,” Beard said.” This is a reflection of our AACPS health, PE, and dance community’s commitment to ensuring the finest possible wellness education for all of our students. As teachers we make a positive impact on our students by building skills needed to implement throughout their lives which leads them to be health-literate individuals.”
The award is given annually to a teacher who, in addition to possessing outstanding teaching skills, is a positive role model and exhibits the qualities of personal health and fitness in his or her daily life. At Severna Park Middle, Beard leads the school’s wellness committee for the school improvement plan charter. She also co-leads the Youth Rise Leo student group, which focuses on getting students involved in community service.
“Nicole is one of the most engaging health educators I know,” said Christiana Walsh, AACPS’ Coordinator of Health, Physical Education, and Dance. “She is truly remarkable in the classroom as she affords students the opportunity to interact with health concepts and skills like no one I have seen. She brings to life real-world examples to enhance students’ awareness of their personal health and well-being. She also gives of her time to various health education committees, from writing curriculum to reviewing materials of instruction. She is always willing to lend an extra hand to ensure students are provided with up-to-date and innovated activities that support health literacy.”
MAHPERD’s vision is to become a leading organization that promotes and supports healthier, more creative, and more active Maryland citizens by advocating and promoting personal wellness and healthier lifestyles through educational and community programs.
In addition to Beard, MAHPERD also honored four AACPS physical education teachers with awards reflecting their outstanding contributions to the teaching profession. Melissa Quigley of Broadneck High School, Melanie Herget-Siira of South River High School, Katherine Gardner of Marley Elementary School, and Romy Scott of Meade Middle School received Simon McNeely awards from the organization.