Fuquay-Varina High School’s Charla Tedder Parker will be honored as the Southern High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) at its national convention in Charlotte, April 23 – 27.
The Southern District represents 13 states from Virginia to Texas. The award is given in recognition of outstanding teaching performance at the high school level and the ability to motivate today’s youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.
Parker, a physical education teacher for the last 30 years, at FVHS for the past 12, will vie with four other district winners for the distinguished honor of National High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. This award is sponsored by NASPE and Sportime, an innovator of equipment and services for physical educators.
The National Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award recipients will be announced on April 26 at the NASPE Hall of Fame Banquet.
“I teach from my heart every day. I want my students to know they are important, and strive to provide a safe, positive learning environment,” says Parker. “I believe that high school physical education is the last opportunity teachers have to make a difference and engage students to love being physically active and value their personal health and fitness.”
Parker believes that her program is different from others because she takes a student centered approach. She explains that students use high order thinking skills in her class because she requires them to create their own practice drills as well as design their own fitness warm-up routines.
Parker gives students choices, teaches them the skills and concepts they need to know, but ultimately expects them to apply what they learn by being independent thinkers and movers.
Parker’s passion and commitment to her students is evident in how she goes above and beyond to care for them.
“A very obese student came to me for help. She wanted to feel better about herself. She began coming after school every day to workout in our wellness room,” Parker said. “I put her fitness scores together and monitored her body fat. In less than six months she had lost weight, and looked great. She was extremely proud.”
“Ms. Parker is an outstanding educator. Her lessons are well planned, fun and interesting,” FVHS Principal Edward McFarland said. “In addition, she differentiates instruction to meet the individual needs of students.
“She is a living and shining example of the title – Teacher of the Year.”
Parker’s honors include National Board Certification in Secondary Physical Education and the Artie Kamiya Horizon Award for Wake County School District.
Her professional affiliations include membership with NASPE and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), NASPE’s umbrella organization. Parker received her Bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from East Carolina University and a Master’s degree in education/exercise science from Campbell University.