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Denise Meyer recognized as Teacher of the Year

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Each year, one teacher is recognized for their outstanding work at Lafayette. This year, Denise Meyer, physical education teacher, has been named Teacher of the Year. In the video above, students share their thoughts on Meyer and the importance of quality teaching.

Denise Meyer is very appreciative of all the kudos proffered by peers and students for nominating her for this honor.

Starting as a Life Sciences teacher, Meyer taught Biology, Anatomy and Physiology in a small Nebraska town, Meyer was destined to work in the field of education.

Her parents, a teacher and a school principal, were very influential in encouraging her to be the best she can be as an instructor. Ironically, it is the best in everyone else around her that she is focused on. She always makes sure to put her students first.

“She is always happy. When she walks in, even if she is having a bad day, she makes sure she is happy. It makes us really want to play games or work out or do whatever we are doing that day,” senior Connor Fitzgerald said.

Being a physically active person, Meyer grew tired of sitting behind a lab table in Nebraska so she picked up and moved to Wildwood in 1998, to become a physical education teacher and basketball coach at Lafayette.

“Since coming here to teach physical education, I have loved what I do and am influenced by all of the young people I come into contact with every day. I was meant to teach high school students, as I love the way they think, form ideas, consider dreams and then share them with me,” Meyer said.

While it is clear that Meyer takes inspiration from those around her, she hopes that she can provide motivation for others to live out their dreams.

“I was once asked why I became a teacher when there are so many other jobs that pay more money. My answer was very clear, I am comfortable with teaching, I love coming in doing what I do every day and this is the life that was meant for me,” Meyer said.

Meyer strives to maintain a positive energy to help her connect with students and co-workers on a personal level.

“She’s so enthusiastic. She is as much our teacher as she is our friend. She teaches us, but she works out with us so it’s like we are doing everything together. It’s a very strong student teacher relationship,” senior Amanda Shaw, who has Meyer as her Aerobics teacher, said.

Coach Ashley Lewis was a student of Meyer as well as a player on the basketball team Meyer coached 15 years ago.

Lewis volunteered to read the recognition speech in honor of Meyer written by drama teacher Natasha Fischer on her behalf.

“When I think of teacher of the year, I think of someone who has done a great job in this building, not just in their teaching. She is a bright spot at Lafayette and she’s how I wish all teachers were, outgoing and caring,” Lewis said.

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