Originally published Dec. 25, 2022 by The Journal-News.

By Michael D. Clark

A Hamilton Schools’ physical education teacher is the only 2022 winner in Ohio of a prestigious gold-medal award for excellence in her work with students.

Ridgeway Elementary gym instructor Dawnjene DeLong and the school were recently awarded the Ohio Gold Excellence in Physical Education Award.

The program is sponsored by the Ohio Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. For 2022, DeLong and her school were the only recipients of the gold award in the entire state, which has more than 3,000 elementary schools, said Jeff Archiable, spokesman for Hamilton Schools.

The annual award is based on much more than simply meeting state-minimum standards for physical education (PE) instruction but rather requires a wide range of incorporating extra-curricula learning as part of gym class lessons.

And according to Ridgeway Principal Kathy Wagonfield, DeLong, known as “DJ” at her school, has excelled at that sort of holistic instructional approach for years.

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