Position: Physical/Health Education Teacher School: Pinehurst Elementary School
School District: Moore County Schools
City, State: Pinehurst , North Carolina
About the Nominee: Marsha Harms was nominated by her principal, Ashlee Ciccone.
Truly, it is a challenge to quantify the multitude of ways that Marsha Harms demonstrates her love for the students of Pinehurst Elementary School. She serves as the advisor for the PES Running Club and Jump Rope Club, as well as the faculty liaison for weekly Walking School Bus and the annual Bike to School Day each May. This year, Mrs. Harms worked with Pinehurst Parks and Recreation to help Pinehurst Elementary become a Project Unify site, where regular education students work alongside those with special needs to the betterment of the entire community. She is a leader in the school's Courtesy Club, serves as a mentor to a beginning teacher, sends staff wellness activities that can be done quickly at work and provides constant coaching necessary to keep everyone healthy.
However, aside from the many important roles she fills at Pinehurst Elementary, her most influential role is that of teacher. Mrs. Harms somehow manages to not only teach healthy living and physical education in her 40 minutes each day, but she inspires students to live well, implements activities like Star Wars-themed exercises so the students can become Jedis and integrates core learning skills into her physical education lessons. It is not unusual to see students practicing math facts while exercising and utilizing technology to help them assess their own performance.
Mrs. Harms challenges herself and her students to be and do more than they possibly think they can. She repeatedly shows up at community events like basketball and baseball games just to check on “her children.” She also participates in local fitness-related activities to provide students with constant support and the knowledge that being fit for life is essential. The Pinehurst Elementary faculty know how invaluable Mrs. Harms is to their Dolphin Family, and they are grateful for her giving spirit, contagious energy and desire to help every person at Pinehurst be a healthy citizen. She epitomizes the Pinehurst Elementary mission of being “In the Business of Play!”