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Dance Instructor named Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year

OAHPERD is proud to announce Carrie Conwell as the Secondary Physical

Education Teacher of the Year. Carrie teaches dance to ninth through twelfth

graders at John Marshall High School, an Oklahoma City Public School (OKCPS).

First of all, Carrie believes her program provides a unique learning experience

b e c a u s e through dance, students learn t e a m w o r k , focus, and improvisational skills. Dance awakens new perceptions in young adults which help them learn and think in new

ways. Young adults need to express and communicate their ideas and to be given

the opportunity to make creative decisions.

The John Marshall Dance Program allows students to be themselves, push to their max potential, and learn new skills, physically, emotionally, and mentally. One student supported Carrie’s belief with this statement, “Ms. Conwell works hard and provides me with the tough love that I was needing. She is inspiring, motivating and always helps me achieve the things I never thought possible. The dance studio is my home away from home. She taught me it is

okay to fail, but to get up, try harder, and never give up. She is my second mother and when I came into her class as a shy, insecure young girl, she pushed me out of my comfort zone to a place I have come to love. I will be forever grateful for Ms. Conwell” Or “What I really like about our dance class is it’s like you can be yourself without feeling judged, and it’s always fun even when you’re struggling.”

Secondly, Carrie understands the importance of collaborating and developing relationships with her fellow colleagues because teachers need teachers. Carrie stated, “The dance teachers in OKCPS are all very close. We are constantly bouncing ideas off one another, getting opinions, and sharing a google drive with information on dance history, lesson plans, and things that have just worked for us. (I am) very thankful to know such wonderful educators.” The respect is mutual from Carrie’s colleagues. One co-worker said, “Carrie has brought legitimacy to the program and the quality of the show productions are wonderful.

Students are learning a wide range of styles.”

Finally, Carrie knows the importance of equity, accessibility, and a well-rounded education. She offered this advice, “I would encourage educators to draw on many different styles of teaching to reach all different types of learners. I would also encourage physical education professionals to provide learning opportunities for students of different races, backgrounds,

and socioeconomic levels. Physical education, as well as arts education, should be encouraged and accessible to all and promoted for every student.” Carrie is a true champion of education and as one parent stated, “Ms. Conwell is an amazing advocate for these students! She always goes above and beyond to make sure they are equipped and prepared for learning in school and in life. We are so lucky to have her as our child’s teacher!”

Thank you, Carrie Conwell for sharing your passion for physical education with your students, colleagues, and school community. Congratulations on your selection for OAHPERD’s Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

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