Vergennes physical education teacher Robyn Newton named Teacher of the Year
, 2022-09-29 15:28:42,
Robyn Newton Brings Focus on Lifelong Fitness, Joy and Learning to Students
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Education today named Robyn Newton, a physical education teacher at Vergennes Union Elementary School, as the 2023 Vermont Teacher of the Year. Newton will begin her tenure as Vermont Teacher of the Year on January 1, 2023.
Also recognized are the 2023 Vermont Teacher of the Year Distinguished Finalists, Abbie Bowker, visual art teacher at Champlain Valley Union High School, Amy Clapp, upper elementary teacher at Salisbury Community School, and Aziza Malik, upper elementary teacher at Champlain Elementary School.
Robyn Newton has been a physical education teacher at Vergennes Union Elementary School for 27 years. At Vergennes UES, Newton focuses on providing a physical education experience that is joyful and educational, and develops the skills and confidence needed for healthy development and lifelong fitness. Newton has built an interdisciplinary program that connects students to their communities and builds on their learning in the classroom, on the playing field, and beyond.
“Robyn Newton exemplifies what makes Vermont educators special,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “From using the Olympics to teach students about sportsmanship, competition, world affairs and intercultural competency, to her efforts to bring more funding to physical education and nutrition programs in her district, Ms. Newton excels in teaching, shows leadership through an interdisciplinary and collaborative mindset, and, most importantly, she builds excitement for learning in and out of the classroom.”
Newton’s accomplishments at UES include leading a multi-disciplinary unit on the Olympics that touches every grade and every subject at the Addison County elementary school. Each class chooses a country to represent, and students learn about their country through lessons in reading, writing and math. Before the games, students see videos of real Olympic events, and in PE they learn and practice the related skills. Each student chooses four events in which to compete.
As Newton wrote in her application for Vermont Teacher of the Year “There is nothing better than watching peers cheer each other on or hearing a younger student shout “I won” when they receive their bronze medal…This unit embodies how and why I teach: to create enjoyable experiences that develop new skills, build confidence and promote…
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