Originally published Aug. 3, 2021 by KLTV7.

Tyler ISD is proud to announce that Ashley Phelps, Tyler ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, has been selected as the Regional Elementary Teacher of the Year by the Region 7 Education Service Center.

Coach Phelps is the physical education (PE) teacher at Andy Woods Elementary School. She teaches her students how fitness positively impacts their physical and emotional well-being.

Much like adults, children can also experience stress and anxiety at various times. Coach Phelps teaches them that daily physical activity helps them cope with these stressors better, ultimately improving their emotional health.

“Education is about educating the whole child, helping them to become the best they can be both physically and mentally,” she said.

Coach Phelps takes her lessons a step further as she brings creativity to her classes. This year, Phelps and her assistants transformed the gym into a glow-in-the-dark neon putt-putt course to celebrate the end of their golf unit. Also, Coach Phelps invites parents to her annual Parents in PE event. During the spring event, students race their parents through fun obstacle courses. “One of the greatest resolutions I have found is partnering with parents,” she said.

To help students stay active at home, Coach Phelps sends out family health challenges for parents and students to do together. “Healthy habits at home can transfer to permanent behaviors and lifestyles,” Phelps said.

“My son says that PE is everyone’s favorite part of the week because Coach Phelps makes each person feel so special,” Andria Wisner, an Andy Woods Elementary School parent, said. “To sum up Coach Phelps, she is a bright light at a crucial time in children’s lives, and she always shines!”

Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford says he is proud of Coach Phelps and her accomplishments. “I’ve said this many times, but Tyler ISD has the best teachers and educators in East Texas,” Crawford said. “It is always fun to honor the best of the best in our profession, and we are certainly doing so this afternoon.”

Phelps will now move on to compete against the other thirty-eight Regional Teachers of the Year, for the Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year title. A panel of judges determined by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) will make the selection this Fall.

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