MAHOPAC, N.Y. - Donn Tobin, a Yorktown resident who works for the Mahopac School District, has been named National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators).

“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 which parents and caregivers truly support our students’ education and livelihood.”

As a youth, Tobin was involved in martial arts, where he learned to break down skill instruction into simple steps, which he still uses with his students today. As a teen, he worked as a counselor with children at summers sports camps.

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Tobin went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland in physical education with a concentration in elementary education. He 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.

The awards are piling up for the Lakeview Elementary School teacher, who earlier this year won District Teacher of the Year in Elementary Physical Education in the Eastern District.

“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.