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“Nationals October 2019

9 AACPS educators receive State awards

| November 03, 2018, 04:35 PM

Amanda Weisgerber of Annapolis High School was named High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year and Kristin Bowser of Severna Park High School earned the Health Education Teacher of the Year as part of a stellar night for Anne Arundel County Public Schools at SHAPE Maryland’s annual banquet.

In all, nine AACPS educators received awards from SHAPE Maryland, which 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. The organization was formerly known as the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Weisgerber has spent five years at Annapolis High School, where she has taught physical education classes ranging from Fitness for Life to Personal Fitness, Sports Medicine and most recently AACPS’ newest course, Unified Physical Education and Leadership. She has also coached soccer, unified bowling and unified bocce at the school.

“It is such an honor to receive this award” Weisgerber said. “I owe a lot of thanks to my students. They are my motivation and they inspire me to keep creating and planning lessons that are engaging. Seeing the excitement when they learn something new or when they are having fun is one of the biggest rewards.”

Bowser has taught in Anne Arundel County Public Schools for nine years, spending eight at Annapolis High School before moving to Severna Park High School this year. She has taught Health Education, Intro to Health Professions, Human Sexuality, Drugs and Society and, most recently, a new Stretch Your Wellness course at Severna Park High School. She has also been instrumental in bringing a variety of programs to AACPS, including the One Love Foundation and Yards for Yeardley (a program designed to educate youth on the importance of healthy relationships) and Panther Pals (a club designed to build self-confidence and leadership through a student-student partnership between high school and elementary matched students).

“I am so grateful to work with an incredible team within AACPS and the Health, Physical Education, and Dance community,” Bowser said. “Everyone has inspired and supported me be a better educator in order to meet the needs of my students. The students and staff that I have had the opportunity to come to know and respect over the past nine years have taught me lessons about humility, empathy, courage, and strength. My goal is to create a community within the classroom in which all of my students feel safe and confident while learning the necessary skills to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle that they will carry on through adulthood.” 


AACPS Adapted Physical Education Resource Teacher Deb Marcus received the William E. Burdick Award for her service and leadership in the field of adapted physical education.

The association noted Marcus’ tremendous skill as a teacher and as an advocate to assist students with disabilities and those teachers who serve them so that all are included in physical education. She has been instrumental in the development of AACPS’ new Unified Physical Education and Leadership course, which includes students with and without disabilities working together in a class designed to enhance communication, empathy, inclusion, leadership, critical thinking, and teamwork.


In addition to Bowser, Weisgerber, and Marcus, SHAPE Maryland also honored five AACPS physical education teachers with awards reflecting their outstanding contributions to the teaching profession. Jennifer Sweeney of Broadneck High School, Jenny Madden of Arundel High School, Caitlin Keen of Meade High School, Carrie Deaver of Pasadena Elementary School and Amy Falls of Folger McKinsey and Central Office received Simon McNeely awards from the organization.


AACPS Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Michele Batten received a Distinguished Friend of SHAPE Maryland award for her support of physical education, health, and dance curriculum designed to help all students.

The association cited Batten’s efforts to provide quality instruction at all levels and her work to increase the amount of physical activity students receive throughout the day as instrumental in the progress and expansion of the school system’s initiatives and goals.

Severn Bank
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