Archive for Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phys-ed instructor is elementary teacher of year

Prairie Park P.E. teacher Mike Martin was surprised with the Teacher of the Year award.

February 25, 2009


The Lawrence school district on Tuesday honored a longtime teacher who has spent more than a decade teaching elementary students about physical fitness.

Mike Martin, Prairie Park School’s physical-education teacher, received the 2009 Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year Award during a surprise assembly.

“Mike Martin is a natural teacher,” said Prairie Park Principal David Williams. “He possesses strong instructional skills and uses many strategies to engage his students. Children in his classroom enthusiastically participate and thrive on his creative ability.”

Martin, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Ottawa University, has taught at Prairie Park, 2711 Kensington Road, for 10 years, and last year he also took on teaching a PE class at the East Heights Early Childhood Family Center.

He is in his 13th year in the district, after also teaching elementary PE classes at Pinckney, Cordley and the former Riverside schools for three years.

“Mike takes great care in planning his units and lessons, keeping them age-appropriate, challenging and fun,” said Pat Grzenda, a school district adaptive physical-education teacher. “His classes include students with physical and cognitive challenges, as well as students with autism. He takes the initiative to find the solution for every student’s need.”

Superintendent Randy Weseman was on hand to help present the award to Martin as a surprise on Tuesday. The KU Credit Union also presented him with a $1,000 check.

“My family walked in the side door, and I kind of knew something was up, but I didn’t quite imagine something like this,” Martin said.

District administrators are expected to surprise the Secondary Teacher of the Year winner sometime today.

The district will nominate Martin and the secondary winner for the Kansas Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education.


Maddy Griffin 9 years, 4 months ago

Congratulations, Mr. Martin!! All of us at Prairie Park are thrilled for you. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Jacob Kucza 9 years, 4 months ago

My brother and sister have only ever had good things to say about him. I've talked to him a time or two as well, and he seems like a great guy. I'm glad to see his passion and ability are noticed.

woodenfleaeater 9 years, 4 months ago

A phys ed teacher??? Seriously? I think a 12 year old could do that job. No lesson plans, easy grading. The hardest decision you have to make is dodgeball or kickball on Friday.

Onasis 9 years, 4 months ago

A great teacher does more than just lesson planning... and it's great that the students/parents/teachers recognize that. Congratulations Mike!!

Pa 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey WFL and Rightisright,

Until you go check this teacher out in his classroom, don't be so quick with the snide comments. I'm sure he is well deserving of the award and you two smack of jealousy!!

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