Nichols named 2015 Elementary PE Teacher of the Year

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Ron Nichols, a 1997 health and physical education/teaching graduate, who now teaches in the Deer Lakes School District, has been named the 2015 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Nichols told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he prefers to be called a "wellness instructor" rather than a health and physical education teacher because he approaches the subject with a focus on lifelong learning. In addition to teaching skills for various activities and sports, he spends a lot of time discussing nutrition and healthy eating. It is a method that is becoming more and more common in physical education, he said. 

"Lifelong fitness and wellness skills are becoming very popular. There are a lot of teachers who share my passion and I am honored to be selected among all of them to receive this honor," Nichols said. 

Nichols played baseball for SRU in 1994 and later served an assistant coach for The Rock. He earned his master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University. He was the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XX Coach of the Year in 2000 and the Penn State Commonwealth Campus Athletic Conference Baseball Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2000. 

Nichols will be honored this month at the 94th annual state convention of the PAHPERD.