Maplewood Elementary teacher receives national award for physical education

By Eduardo Villa

It’s shaping up to be a good year for one Austin ISD teacher, who’s been named one of the top physical education instructors in the nation.

Rebecca Lambdin-Abraham received the 2022 Southern District Teacher of the Year award for elementary education. The recognition was given by The Society of Health and Physical Educators, also known as SHAPE America.

Lambdin-Abraham –– who was previously recognized as the state teacher of the year by the Texas Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance –– teaches at Maplewood Elementary.

“I am humbled by this award and know that I could not have come this far on my own,” Lambdin-Abraham said. “The support from our amazing physical education department has helped me grow and become a better teacher to serve the students of Maplewood Elementary.”

Lambdin-Abraham stressed the importance of teaching children how to love being active.

“I truly believe that I have the best and most important job in the world,” she said.

In April, SHAPE America will honor Lambdin-Abraham at their national convention and expo in New Orleans. SHAPE America will announce a district winner in each category during the convention, with one moving on to become the National Teacher of the Year.

“Through the Teacher of the Year program, we are able to provide recognition to outstanding teachers who are motivating their students to participate in a lifetime of physical activity,” said SHAPE America CEO Stephanie Morris. 

The program is sponsored by the Teacher of the Year Partner Network, which includes SPARK, Wellness Training Specialists, GOPHER, and Goodheart-Willcox Publisher.