Three Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) physical education teachers were honored last week as 2017 Simon McNeely Award recipients. The Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) honored CCPS teachers Rebecca Bullard, Leonard Rickett and Brent Stum with the awards on Oct. 20.
The annual awards program recognizes teachers who demonstrate outstanding innovation in teaching physical education and involvement in school community activities. The award is named in honor of Simon McNeely, a special education teacher and longtime member of the President’s Council for Physical Fitness, and the United States and International Olympic committees.
Bullard is a physical education teacher at Theodore G. Davis Middle School and started her 12th year in education this school year. Bullard joined the teaching team at Davis when the school opened in 2007 and also taught at Milton M. Somers Middle School. She coaches sports at the middle-school level and previously coached girls basketball at La Plata and North Point high schools.
Bullard was honored to be recognized for pursuing her passion to teach. “It is a great honor to receive the Simon McNeely award. Teaching health and physical education in the Charles County community is a passion of mine. Seeing the improvement of the overall health and well-being of students through their physical education and health knowledge makes me proud,” she said.
Rickett is a longtime physical education teacher with CCPS. He has been teaching physical education at the elementary school level for the past 18 years. Rickett has taught at Berry Elementary School for his entire career with CCPS. He has a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Frostburg University and is two courses away from finishing his master’s degree in administration at McDaniel College.
While Rickett said he does not necessarily enjoy being in the spotlight for doing his job, he was happy to be recognized for his hard work. “It feels good to be recognized for this award, for all the hard work that is being done. I don’t ask for recognition, but it does feel good when other people notice you for the work you put in,” he said.
Stum is also a longtime physical education teacher with CCPS, having spent the past 14 years teaching at La Plata High School. Throughout his career at La Plata, Stum said he has felt constant support from staff and school administrators in helping to improve the physical health of students. Additionally, Stum said he was honored to receive the recognition as a Simon McNeely Award because it honors educators for giving back to their communities.
“This award is really a recognition of the amazing support that Charles County provides for its health and physical education teachers. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing teachers here at La Plata and in Charles County that share the same vision for students,” he said.
The teachers were nominated for recognition by Ivy Hodges, CCPS content specialist for health and physical education. They were honored in a recognition ceremony held as part of the annual MAHPERD convention.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.