It is with great pleasure and total confidence that we nominate Tim Steed for the Focus Award in the area of Health. Mr. Steed is Highland Elementary School's Physical Education Teacher or better known as our "Let's Get Moving Motivator".
Commitment to integrity and a sense of passion are characteristics of success that describe Mr. Tim Steed. He is an active learner that is constantly searching and exploring creative and innovative strategies, as well as, programs that would enhance the physical fitness and health environment for students. From the physical to the mental, emotional, and social aspects, Mr. Steed challenges each one of his students to reach beyond their comfort zone, and gives them the tools to be successful while motivating each child along the way. Helping to develop the whole person in his class is something Mr. Steed strives for daily. Mr. Steed focuses on student awareness and attitude as a way of helping set student's goals in class and in daily life.
"A good coach improves your game; a great coach improves your life". This is exactly what Mr. Steed promotes as his mission as a Physical Educator. He challenges and motivates students and staff members to accomplish what nobody thought they could. A testimony that must be shared in regard to Mr. Steed's commitment to students and their health is when a student looked to him as a role model and asked for his help to lose weight and get in shape. Mr. Steed eagerly assisted this young boy each day in walking laps with him, all the while instructing the boy in good food selection to reduce his weight. This young man is now a 3rd grader and continues to seek out Mr. Steed for guidance.
Mr. Steed is the chairperson of the Highland's Healthy School Committee. Two years ago student vending machines at Highland had sugary sports drinks. Now, Highland not only meets new Smart Snack Guidelines, they go above and beyond. Mr. Steed has created a healthy school in other ways too! He has worked to promote breakfast participation and morning activity by allowing students to take their "Grab-and-Go" breakfast to the walking trail to enjoy while on a morning walk. Also, Go Noodle in being implemented in the classrooms; the students are even using Go Noodle at home. Movement breaks in the classroom allow students to move and get exercise not only to get their sillies out, but also to promote brain function
* Not only has he extended healthy options to students, but to our teachers and staff as well. Mr. Steed started a 30 day fitness challenge with our staff to get us in shape. It was a workout for EVERYONE -- the HASFIT Challenge.
* Highland Elementary School earned the 2015 National Healthy Schools Bronze Award, under the leadership of Tim Steed and Carrie Munsey. Highland was recognized as one of twelve schools in the state of Kentucky for their comprehensive health, physical activity and wellness efforts during the school year.
* In addition, Highland also earned the USDA's Healthier US School Challenge Award. This award specifically recognizes Food Service Programs for using Smarter Lunchroom Techniques and comes with promotional materials to recognize your food service program, and $500 for our school's cafeteria.
The Healthier School Challenge Awards are just not enough for Mr. Steed. If he were to win the Focus Award for Health, he would put the money towards turning regular desks into standing desks for the children. The end in mind would look something like this: each student standing at a taller desk with a fidget bar on the bottom where they could fidget their foot. In the teacher's desired location, there would be a stack of stools that a student could pull up if he or she became too tired to stand. In addition, a fidget bar would be installed at the bottom of the desk as a prop for the foot to fidget on.
The students would benefit from this in many different ways. First of all, research from Texas A&M University show that sitting too long can actually cause harm to a child's body. A standing desk allows a student the opportunity to be more active, therefore burning more calories. Psychologists who were blinded to the study performed measured attentiveness and engagement. They published that the students with standing desks were more engaged in activity permissive environments than in the normal classroom, as well as burning more calories based on their fitness monitors.
Here at Highland, Mr. Steed conducted a mock survey asking students and teachers from different classrooms what they thought. Of the 71 students surveyed, 83% of the students said they would prefer a standing desk over a regular desk. Mr. Steed also ran his ideas across many teachers in the building including a 1st grade teacher, three 3rd grade teachers, a 4th grade teacher, and two 5th grade teachers. Between all eight teachers, not one of them opposed the idea of the standing desks. The award is a win-win for everyone.
Mr. Steed's dedication and enthusiasm never stops. He is willing to extend himself much more than just his classroom/gym boundaries. He supports children in many ways, as well as staff members at Highland Elementary. For these reasons, I am pleased to nominate Mr. Tim Steed for the Focus Award. He shows the type of commitment the Foundation supports. I am honored to call him a colleague and our students are blessed daily for his tireless work; he is our "Let's Get Moving Motivator"!
Thank you for your consideration,
Highland Elementary, Assistant Principal