HCS Teacher Receives TAHPERD Award
Posted on 05/10/2023
HCS Teacher Receives TAHPERD AwardChattanooga, Tenn. (May 8, 2023) -- Hamilton County Schools (HCS) Physical Education and Wellness teacher, Brooke Laxton, has been selected for Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education (TAHPERD) Secondary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

The mission of TAHPERD is to promote healthy, physically-active lifestyles for all Tennesseans. Laxton received this award in October 2022 at the TAHPERD conference.
Brooke Laxton has taught at Sequoyah High School for seven years. She is the only Wellness and PE teacher at Sequoyah which allows her to teach a comprehensive and diverse wellness program. Laxton leads her PE class a little differently by accommodating the games they play so that everyone can have fun, and learn to enjoy physical activity.

“What excites me the most about receiving this award is the attention it brings to my fabulous school. I absolutely love working with my Sequoyah family and I am grateful for the opportunity to brag about them. I am also excited because I do PE a bit differently than most PE classes. I try to create PE around the students I have in my class. To be given this award confirms to me that what I am doing is working.”
Laxton believes that the relationship she builds with students makes her stand out. By building trust first, her students are willing to try new activities throughout the year. Laxton’s goal is to create fun, happy memories of exercising and movement in PE class that will encourage students to continue movement and physical activity in their futures.

“PE is supposed to foster a love of movement, it’s not about being the best athlete or about winning. It’s about being healthy. Physical movement has been shown to decrease anxiety and depression and increase academic achievement.”
Laxton currently focuses on personal development while advocating for the PE profession. She aims to bring positivity to her school, co-workers, and students. She is currently on a journey with a movement called “Breathe for Change”, a 200-hour yoga, wellness, and SEL teaching training program.

Laxton said, “My hope is that I will be able to spread what I learn in this training to help my co-workers and community to grow in their own wellness journey. Healthy teachers are happier and happier teachers change the climate of a school and ultimately the community.”

On Wednesday afternoons, you can find Laxton teaching free yoga classes at Sequoyah High open to any HCS employee. “Yoga has taught me to be a less reactive and more present person. Teaching is a hard profession right now and many of my peers are stressed. This is my way of giving back to all of my coworkers.”
Laxton also praised the support surrounding her. The administration at Sequoyah High have fostered an environment that allows Laxton to grow and support her community. Everyone at Sequoyah High works together to create a safe, student-centered learning environment.

To be nominated for the TAHPERD Secondary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Laxton had to submit an application, write an essay, and have three people send in recommendation letters. TAHPERD offers over 17 award categories that can be found on their website here.