Mark Jungmann, of North Polk CSD, has been named the 2017 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (IAHPERD). The organization utilizes an awards criteria that evaluates nominees in several categories to identify and select a deserving educator from the elementary, middle school and high school levels, respectively.

Jungmann, who joined North Polk in the fall of 2006, has dedicated himself to the betterment and development of physical education. After his initial year on staff, Jungmann took a one year sabbatical to earn his master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. As a physical educator, Jungmann says, “My personal mission is to equip the students I teach with the skills, knowledge and attitude to live a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Ann Mills, principal at West Elementary, sees Jungmann pursue this mission on a daily basis. “Mr. Jungmann provides activities promoting physical fitness, team-building, critical thinking and problem-solving, while increasing students’ knowledge and skills,” she said. According to Mills, Jungmann’s influence can be seen well beyond the gymnasium walls. “He extends his passion for active and healthy living throughout the school building and into the community.”

“This award is a real honor and a reward for a lot of hard work I have put in,” said Jungmann, who sees it as an accomplishment and a challenge. Jungmann admits that he holds himself to high standards, and after being recognized as an IAHPERD Teacher of the Year recipient, he knows others will expect that from him. “It’s a bit of a responsibility that I don’t backslide in my ways and keep improving my craft. I’m not afraid of that happening because I always want to get better at what I do.”

Jungmann and other Teacher of the Year recipients will be recognized in the summer of 2018 at the annual IAHPERD convention. His selection as teacher of the year makes Jungmann eligible for SHAPE America’s District Teacher of the Year award. District winners are then eligible for the national award. Please join us in congratulating Mark Jungmann on this achievement!