MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Lakeview Elementary School’s Donn Tobin has been named National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America. Tobin’s selection is the highest honor a physical-education teacher can receive in the country.

Earlier this year, Tobin was also named the 2019 District Teacher of the Year in Elementary Physical Education in the Eastern District, which geographically includes Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virgin Islands.

“To be the recipient of the National Teacher of the Year Award SHAPE America is a distinguished honor,” said Colleen Corsi, executive director of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. “It is an acknowledgment of his commitment to professional excellence and to his students. Donn and his family should be exceptionally proud of his accomplishment.”

Sign Up for E-News

Although not verified because archived information is not available past 2004, it is believed that Tobin is the first elementary teacher in New York to win the National Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

 “I am humbled and truly honored by this recognition,” Tobin said. “It is an absolute privilege to teach the children in the Mahopac community. Our students are eager to learn, and I cherish getting to watch them grow. It’s wonderful to be part of a place in which parents and caregivers truly support our students’ education and livelihood.”

Since his youth, teaching and working with children have been a big part of Tobin’s life. When he was young, he was involved in martial arts where he learned the notion of breaking down skill instruction into simple steps; this is something that he still uses with his students today. As a teen, he worked as a counselor with children at summer sports camps.

Tobin’s father was the true motivator for encouraging him to become a teacher, which resulted in a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland in physical education with a concentration in elementary education. Tobin earned a master’s degree in school administration at Mercy College.

“My philosophy to teaching is to keep instruction as simple and as positive as possible so I can help create a lifelong commitment to health and fitness with my students,” Tobin said.  His favorite part of teaching is seeing students grow and improve, especially when they reach the “aha!” moment of skill mastery.

“Mr. Tobin’s dedication to inspiring students, nurturing their natural abilities, and encouraging them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle makes it no surprise for us that he was awarded this prestigious national honor,” said Jennifer Pontillo, Lakeview Elementary School principal.

 “We are so proud of Mr. Tobin and his recognition as National Teacher of the Year is duly deserved. He serves as a positive role model for all students and is an inspiration for us all to be healthy, fit and active for a lifetime,” said Anthony DiCarlo, superintendent of schools.

Article courtesy of Mahopac School District