L ike many sports fans around the country, Tahoma High School physical education teacher Tracy Krause spent last weekend watching the NFL draft — but Krause had a ringside seat.
The NFL invited Krause to watch the draft in person after naming him the NFL Network PE Teacher of the Year.
Krause says the award reflects not just his work but the Tahoma School District’s commitment to high quality health and fitness education.
“If you want to change the graph for childhood obesity you have to get kids moving, you have to engage them in something that stimulates a lifelong passion,” Krause says. “You have to get them to believe in themselves and crave movement. That is what I try very hard to do everyday when I get a chance to work with my kids. That is what drives my decisions.”
At Tahoma, Krause has also helped set up a wellness program for his colleagues.
“His staff wellness program has changed the lives of countless district employees, from the kitchen staff to the administration, and setting a positive example for the students,” says Dena Kaplan, NFL Network’s senior vice president of marketing.
This is the second year the NFL Network has named a PE Teacher of the Year as part of its Keep Gym in School campaign. More than 2,000 entries were submitted.
In addition to flying Krause to New York to watch the draft last weekend, the NFL Network will give Krause $10,000 personally plus $10,000 more in the form of a grant for the PE program at the high school.
Krause, 42, began teaching at Tahoma after graduating in 1993 from Washington State University. Since then, he has helped develop Tahoma’s Outdoor Academy program for 10th-graders, which combines outdoor activities such as hiking, fly fishing and cycling with language arts and science curriculum.
In 2008, he was named national PE teacher of the year by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. He was Washington state PE teacher of the year in 2005.
Krause is a National Board Certified Teacher who has served as co-chair of the National Board’s Physical Education Standards Committee. He was invited by NASPE, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education, to serve on the PE 2020 Planning Committee. He also serves on the Physical Education Steering Committee for NASPE and on the Board of the Washington Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. He presents regularly at state, district and national professional workshops and conferences.
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