National PE Teacher of the Year!
Fair Oaks Teacher Honored as National
High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year
RESTON, VA, May 13, 2019 — Dan DeJager, a physical education teacher at Meraki High School in Fair Oaks, CA, was recently named the National High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators at its National Convention & Expo in Tampa, FL.
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.
DeJager, a physical education teacher in SJUSD for more than 19 years, vied with four other district winners for the distinguished honor of National High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. At the convention, SHAPE America and School Specialty celebrated the 30th anniversary of this Teacher of the Year awards collaboration.
In all, six National Teachers of the Year were selected in the areas of adapted physical education, dance education, health education, elementary physical education, middle school physical education and high school physical education.
“I have been in education for nearly 25 years as both a teacher and administrator and have never known a person to take on the role of educator with such a high degree of professionalism as Dan,” says Richard Judge, DeJager´s former principal at Encina Preparatory High School. “He has extensive experience with diverse populations, always focuses on meeting students’ needs where they are, and then supports growth and commitment to a healthy lifestyle. He skillfully serves as a compassionate and positive role model to all our students.”
One of the innovative lessons DeJager developed is influencing teachers and students worldwide. “Several years ago, I designed the idea of using an adventure racing format for physical education lessons,” he says. “The format can be used to teach not only fitness, but cooperative skills, movement skills and literacy through the use of informational text.”
DeJager’s professional affiliations include the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and SHAPE America. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical education teacher education from California State University Chico and a master’s degree in kinesiology from California State University Sacramento.
About SHAPE America
SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators is the nation’s largest nonprofit membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and the National Standards for K-12 Physical Education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country. SHAPE America provides programs, resources and advocacy to support health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit www.shapeamerica.org.