Timberline Teacher Named Iowa P.E. Teacher of the Year

Chris Christensen P.E. Teach of the YearChris Christensen, a P.E. teacher at Timberline School in Waukee Community School District, was named the 2023-24 Middle School P.E. Teacher of the Year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) of Iowa.

“I’m truly honored and excited to receive this award. It means a lot to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about,” Christensen says.

Since 1982, the P.E. Teacher of the Year awards have honored educators for the “contributions that have been made to their profession and the Iowans they teach,” according to the SHAPE website. Christensen is only the second Waukee CSD employee to win the award.

The selection process for the annual award is extensive. After being nominated by a teaching peer, Christensen wrote essay responses to five questions — carefully omitting any identifying information — that were evaluated by a panel. In addition, Christensen submitted three letters of recommendation from administrators.

Christensen was recognized at the 2024 SHAPE Iowa Convention, where he also presented a session on warm-up and team-building activities designed to get students moving and collaborating effectively. He previously presented a SHAPE spring workshop on middle-level philosophy and activities that promote student engagement and learning.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding to share these strategies and see the positive impact they have on our students’ physical education experiences,” Christensen says.

Christensen explains that one of the most fulfilling aspects of teaching middle school students is fostering their physical literacy. “It’s about instilling in them the confidence to move, the competence to move effectively, the motivation to stay active, and providing abundant opportunities for them to develop these skills. Seeing students grow in their physical abilities and embrace a healthy, active lifestyle is incredibly rewarding,” Christensen says.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact in student’s lives through physical education” he adds.