Clevenger Receives CHS’s Teacher of the Year Award

Kate Ridoux

For the 2015-16 school year, CHS awarded fitness teacher Ginny Clevenger the Teacher of the Year award. Clevenger is a seasoned member of the school community and has been working at CHS since the school opened in 2000.

Clevenger’s career in physical health and wellness education began long before her days at CHS. She worked as an exercise specialist with Meridian Health for 15 years before becoming a fitness teacher. Prior to that, she was a senior administrative specialist with IBM, she said.

Of all Clevenger’s contributions to and jobs at CHS, she said her favorite tradition is the hanging of the college flags. As seniors receive acceptance letters from colleges, Clevenger hangs up a flag of the school with the accepted student’s name on it and the college’s mascot. Clevenger says she started doing it as a way to recognize students’ accomplishments.

“I started with our first graduating class in 2004. I thought it was a nice way to recognize the accomplishments of the students, Clevenger said. “In turn, some graduates have given me actual flags from the colleges they attended, and I proudly hang them the Fitness Center.”

Another reason why Mrs. Clevenger is recognized as teacher of the year for her attempts at tailoring lessons to fit the interests of her students.

“I have found that the more ‘elementary’ the game, the more CHS kids like it, so indoor things like the scooter games are a favorite. And I love being outside teaching and overseeing a variety of ‘sports.’ Seeing the change in a student’s demeanor from fear to excitement when I first say, ‘We are going to play football’ makes me happy,” Clevenger said.

Among the many activities Clevenger leads while school is in session, she also runs several after-school events. The annual 3v3 basketball and volleyball tournaments are run – and even reffed – by Clevenger herself.

Clevenger said she encourages any student interested in teaching to follow their passion, but only for the “right reason” – sharing their knowledge and skills.

“My sister was a teacher before me and she always used to say, ‘The best two things about teaching were July and August.’ I disagree. My advice would be don’t enter teaching because you want July and August off. Go into teaching because you like the idea of sharing your knowledge, personality, values and skills with kids. Choose teaching because of September through June,” Clevenger said.

As CHS recognizes Clevenger for her accomplishments and contributions to the school community, Clevenger said she wishes to recognize the “outstanding student body” for making each day she comes to work worthwhile.

“The students are my favorite thing about CHS. Everyday it is something new and different, and everyday I laugh,” she said.