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BCS Healthful Living Coordinator Honored
BCS Healthful Living Coordinator Honored
Posted on 11/03/2020
BCS Healthful Living Coordinator Debbie Bryant has won a statewide award that recognizes her commitment to physical health as crucial to educating the whole child.Related: NDA Physical Education Teacher Wins State Award

By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

BCS Healthful Living Coordinator Debbie Bryant has won a statewide award that recognizes her commitment to physical health as crucial to educating the whole child.

Ms. Bryant received the Honor Award, the highest professional recognition from NC SHAPE, an advocacy organization representing health, physical education, recreation, dance, and athletics professionals and students. The award recognizes people of high moral character and personal integrity who by their leadership and industry have made outstanding and noteworthy contributions to the aforementioned fields.

“Each year we recognize a worthy individual who has demonstrated a life-long commitment to children and youth with the Honor Award,” said NC SHAPE 2020 President Deanna Morris. “This individual represents the very best from the more than 4,000 K-12 health and physical education teachers working in North Carolina.”

Ms. Bryant has used her health and physical education expertise to bring best practices to Buncombe County Schools and advise other educators across the state. She helped start a bicycle safety program, a swimming safety program for local children, and worked to bring kinesthetic seats to BCS classrooms, including standing desks, desks with bicycle-styled pedals, and “strider” desks that operate like elliptical exercise machines.

When COVID-19 struck and physical school buildings suddenly closed, Ms. Bryant staved off a chaotic transition by immediately setting up online support structures. She immediately created a Google Shared Drive to serve as a hub for lesson plans and creative ideas to teach Health and Physical Education virtually. She held weekly Zoom check-ins with teachers to not only give them a chance to voice concerns and successes, but also to check on their personal emotional wellbeing.

“It was important to me that my Health and PE teachers felt supported more than ever in this transition,” Ms. Bryant said. “Our ‘#828PhysEd’ team is more like a family, so I didn’t want anyone to feel isolated especially during this time.”

“Debbie is a true leader,” said Enka Intermediate School Physical Education Teacher Katherine Thomas. “Her caring spirit and unending compassion for the students of Buncombe County Schools, as well as her tireless support of health and physical educators, make her the ideal recipient of this prestigious award. I am so very blessed to work with such a true professional and a wonderful human being.”

Ms. Bryant said she shares the Honor Award with those who have been beside her for the past 30-plus years.

“I am deeply humbled, because there are so many who have paved the way in the advancement of health and physical education throughout our state and nation,” she said. “I am deeply blessed to work in a district where ‘Whole Child Instruction’ is a priority.”

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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