Four Cherokee County School District educators have earned top state awards for physical education teachers!
Jason Bermudez of Indian Knoll Elementary School has been named the Georgia Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. The three teachers who make up the PE department for Liberty Elementary School -- Jose Lago, Rick Myers and Lucy Pence -- together earned the association’s Award of Excellence in Physical Education.
“We’re incredibly proud of these outstanding teachers for earning high honors recognizing their dedication to serving our students,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “PE is an important program that greatly benefits our students’ health and wellbeing, and these four coaches excel at finding new ways to educate, engage and encourage our students. Congratulations and thank you for all that you do!”
The association praised the honorees for their exceptional “performance as educators, role models and community leaders … and dedication to their students, peers and professional association.”
One Georgia PE teacher from each level – elementary, middle and high – is recognized each year as a Georgia PE Teacher of the Year. The award honors their excellence in ensuring students receive a complete and diverse PE education, teaching with innovative and inclusive practices and advocating for the importance of physical education in students’ lives.
As the top elementary school PE teacher in Georgia, Coach Bermudez is eligible to compete in the SHAPE America Teacher of the Year regional and national recognition program. Coach Bermudez, who earlier this month also was named Indian Knoll’s 2022-23 Teacher of the Year, joined CCSD in 2006. He taught at Johnston ES before joining the faculty of Indian Knoll ES.
The Excellence in Physical Education Award honors the most exemplary physical education programs offered in Georgia public schools. Judges review PE programs that were conducted in the immediate past academic year to determine winners.
Coach Lago, who joined Liberty ES in 2002, also serves as an assistant wrestling coach at Etowah HS. Coach Myers joined Liberty’s faculty in 2007, and Coach Pence began at Liberty in 2014 and previously served, while completing her education degree, as a student teacher at Indian Knoll ES.
They all will be honored at association’s annual convention in Athens in November. They also will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Dr. Hightower at the School Board’s October meeting.