Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Veteran Physical Education Teacher Preaches Fitness for Life Peebles' Jackson Earns 'Teacher of Year' Honor

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Veteran Physical Education Teacher Preaches Fitness for Life Peebles' Jackson Earns 'Teacher of Year' Honor

Article excerpt

Christopher Jackson sees teaching physical education as a marathon, not a sprint.

The goal, he says, is to teach students lifelong fitness habits.

"We don't roll the ball out much," he said. "We help students be fit for life."

Mr. Jackson, 45, who teaches at Peebles Elementary School in the North Allegheny School District, was named Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year at the 97th annual Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance, Inc. (PSAHPERD) convention.

"It was an honor," he said. "They picked me and I was pretty stoked for that."

The McCandless resident also was honored Monday during North Allegheny's Distinguished Alumni Awards. He is in his 17th year of teaching, 11 of those in North Allegheny.

Mr. Jackson spearheads the wellness committee at Peebles, getting parents and students on the committee this year for the first time. He also serves on committees for dining services and the Pump House Run annual event.

In addition, he "got a bunch of grants for our school," including a $100,000 grant from Highmark last year to help improve the physical education program, and a $1,175 grant this year from the NA Foundation to purchase "standing desks" for students.

"We're trying to increase activity into the classrooms, too," he said. Research shows that active children are better learners, he added.

Over the past two years, more than 400 Peebles students have participated in Kids of Steel, an after-school program spearheaded by Mr. …

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