O.P. Earle PE teacher wins national award

Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

O.P. Earle PE teacher Laura Dickson (second from left) holds a plaque honoring her as Project Fit America’s 2010 National All Star Teacher of the Year. Looking on are Molly Metz of the Mary Black Foundation (left); Nita High, principal of O.P. Earle Elementary (second from right) and Dr. Ron Garner, District One Schools Superintendent. (photo submitted)

The Mary Black Foundation and Spartanburg School District 1 are proud to announce the recipient of the 2010 National All Star Teacher of the Year award: Laura Dickson, a Physical Education teacher at O.P. Earle Elementary School.
The award is given by Project Fit America (PFA), a 20-year-old national organization organized to provide grades K-8 with exemplary academic programs focused on cardiovascular health and fitness education.
In 2008, the foundation granted PFA $21,300 to pilot its work with O.P. Earle Elementary School. In 2009, the foundation awarded another grant to expand PFA’s work in Spartanburg County by adding two additional elementary schools: Hendrix Elementary and Houston Elementary. Grants were used for equipment and installation, curriculum, and teacher training.
PFA evaluated Laura’s nomination looking for four major qualities: exceptional dedication to the kids, outstanding creativity in PFA program usage, quality of continuity of PFA program usage over a period of two years or more and excellent rapport with other faculty, principal and parents.
“Laura went straight to the head of the class because she has the spirit, energy, dedication and commitment that make her a world-class teacher. She is an advocate and role model for students and peers alike. The students at O.P. Earle Elementary School truly have a teacher who is special and deserving of this award,” said Stacey Cook, executive director for Project Fit America.
According to Molly Metz, the foundation’s director of programs, “The Mary Black Foundation has worked with Laura Dickson since 2008, when OP Earle Elementary was selected as the first school in Spartanburg County to implement Project Fit America, and we continue to be impressed with Laura’s commitment to increasing physical activity among youth in our community. It is inspiring to watch Laura with her students.”
For more information about Laura and her award, visit PFA’s website: www.projectfitamerica.org/AllStarTeacherShowcase/showcase2010/dickson/Laura_Dickson.html.

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