Ron Nichols, All Star Teacher 2002
I have taught elementary physical education at Hiawatha Elementary
School for the past 31 years. It is a K-4 building.
In the first few years I also spent one hour per day at the 5th
grade school 10 miles north of Hiawatha as well as two hours per
day at the Special Education Building doing adaptive physical education.
The afternoons were spent with the K-4 classes. At that time I would
have two classes together for 30 minutes--approximately 60 students
per session. In the mid 1980's we underwent building expansions,
I left the Adaptive program, the 5th grade center closed and I became
full time K-4 in Hiawatha.Needless to say a lot has happened over
those 31 years.I now see each class twice a week for 30 minutes and
twice a month on Wednesdays. I have been allowed to adjust and rewrite
curriculum as I saw a need for change or updating. We currently have
a curriculum that is eclectic in nature as we use material from the
Physcial Essentials state curriculum, Project Fit activities that
have been shared from inservices and the All Star Teachers, and ideas
gathered from state conventions and workshops.
My basic belief is that kids haven't changed but what is expected
of them and what they have at their disposal have changed. They still
have the same developmental stages and challenges before them.
We were very excited this spring when one of our third graders set
the national record for the vault bar at 503 jumps. At our end of
the year awards assembly I recognize all of our station leaders for
the year and I made sure that I saved that one for last. Her father
was able to be in attendance which I am sure was a proudday for him
and the entire family.
I do have to share with you my favorite note
story. We all get interesting notes form our students and parents
but I will never forget the note from one of my students. He simply
Mr. Nichols You are a nice p.e.teacher. What do you do for a living?" I
guess what that means to me is that I look at what I do not as a
job and I guess that it shows. I am often asked now that I have amassed
enough years and age to be retired when that will be. I simple state
that to retire means that you have to have a job to retire from and
when what I do gets to feel like a job then it will be time to go.
Now what about me away from the school:
have been married for 33 years to my lovely wife Cathy-a great mom
and substitute teacher. We are the proud parents of a son Ryan--a
5-12 band instructor, and a daughter Carissa--a student working on
her Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of Kansas. They
are both graduates of Hiawatha High School and Baker
University in Baldwin City, Kansas where they were involved in both
choir and band.
I am a 25+ year member of the Hiawatha Lions Club where I serve as
treasurer.I also am treasurer for the local Boy Scout troop where
our son earned his Eagle Scout.I also serve on the board for Love
INC of Brown County- a non profit clearinghouse for helping those
Maybe my most favorite new activity is that of being a local lay
speaker in our church. I am able to fill in for the minister when
he needs to be gone. I attend 1-2 weekend classes per year to continue
to grow in my faith. I also teach adult sunday school to the oldest
class in our church.
I have also become a runner, trying to
get a couple miles in at least 3-4 times per week. I did set up an
award for my students.We run a smile mile twice a year with all of
our first through fourth graders--an idea I got from Steve Cox. I
time myself and then whoever beats my time gets an Achievement Award
which simple states: Presented to----for achievement in Running:
Beating the "Old Man". It is dated and signed by me with
the words "Old
Man" under the signature.
I have also coached for different sports for the high school--football,
girls basketball, track and cross country- mostly as an assistant
although I did have stints as a head grils basketball coach and boys/girls
track coach. I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in
league championships in all four sports as well as a Kansas state
championship in football. Another new fun activity has been community
theater. I have been able to be in several plays over the past few
years such as Harvey, Fools, Sweet Charity and Godspell.
Who knows what will happen in the next few years but I don't plan
on slowing down too much. I have become interested in maybe doing
some broadcasting. I announce for our summer legion baseball games
as well as high school football and basketball. I have looked into
the possibility of a broadcasting internship at our local radio station.Who
knows where you will find me next but you may need a GPS to find
me unless school is in session and I am just being one of the kids
in the gym.
The total fitness score consists of scores from two
fitness tests (including mile run), two one minute jump rope tests,
an obstacle course run, two pacer run tests. In the mile run they
points for their time, eg. 6 minutes to 6:59 would get 50 points
with each minutes slower getting 5 fewer points.
The pacer run checklist is
how I keep track of laps for each child. The circled numbers represent
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