Fraser Valley Elementary principal receives Administrator of the Year award

Lance Maggart
Courtesy photo
Staff Photo |

For the second year in a row Fraser Valley Elementary (FVE) School has had one of its staff members recognized for outstanding commitment to physical education.

Fraser Valley Elementary School Principal James Chamberlin PhD was recently recognized by SHAPE Colorado as Administrator of the Year for 2015. Chamberlin received his award on Friday, Oct. 16, at a ceremony in Westminster. Last year FVE teacher Lynn Burrows was recognized by SHAPE Colorado as the Teacher of the Year.

“It isn’t about me individually,” said Chamberlin, modestly redirecting the focus to the staff at FVE. “It is about the team of great teachers here at Fraser. In order for students to be high achieving academically we also need to focus on their overall physical health and mental health.”

Chamberlin went on to explain what FVE is doing to highlight physical health and education, highlighting a series of simple programs the school is conducting to increase meaningful activity for students.

“We have a school-wide focus on ‘brain breaks’,” Chamberlin said. “Those are different ways for students to be active in the classroom between activities. Students do maybe one to two minutes of an exercise routine: crossing the midline, moving, getting blood flowing, engaging in navigating space. Research has shown conducting these activities every 16 to 20 minutes improves learning ability.”

Chamberlin also highlighted the health fair FVE held this fall in conjunction with their annual Back-To-School Night event. “There was a huge turnout and it was a success for the school,” he said.

Principal Chamberlin went on to explain another unique feature of FVE that has focused student attention on the need for physical activity.

“A third component, and it is a little different, is we don’t walk in the hallways. We have set up courses on the floors with different kinds of hop-scotch activities so the students have purposeful movement when moving between classrooms.”

Along with the schools emphasis on meaningful student movement throughout the day, Chamberlin also explained the school’s outlooks on child development as it relates to physical education.

“There is a big focus on the ‘whole child’; not only academic achievement but also a big focus on cooperation and teamwork, positive peer interaction, play, control of body movement healthy exercise and eating habits.”

Chamberlin also pointed out FVE’s support for art and music classes as well.

The Principal at FVE was quick to highlight the work of the entire staff members at the school.

“I’m fortunate enough to work with a great team of teachers and staff that make focuses like this possible. It is really an award for the whole school.”

SHAPE Colorado, the Society of Health and Physical Educators, is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide, “leadership, professional development and advocacy for health physical education, recreation and dance professional in the state of Colorado,” according to their mission statement. SHAPE Colorado has between 300 and 400 members.

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