Natcher P.E. Teacher Wins Award

The Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance named Keith Stokes the Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

Stokes has been a physical education teacher at Natcher Elementary since the school opened in 1990.

"He goes above and beyond. He is in every way someone here at Natcher who doesn't just teach class. He's always looking for ways to enrich the kids", Principal Stephanie Martin said.

He also looks for ways to get every child involved in some sort of physical activity. "We do a little bit of everything,” Stokes said. “We have volleyball, floor hockey, soccer. We try to expose kids to something they might generate more interest in.”

Besides his duties in class, jump roping is close to Stokes' heart. Stokes has organized the Jumping Jaguars, the state's first competitive jump rope team.

He also started a jump rope demo team and a jump rope club.

"We get all of the kids involved in some physical activity and we do that through jump rope", Stokes said.

Over the years Stokes has also helped raise $170,000 for the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart.

Stokes' strategies don't end with his students. Often times he says his students take home what they've learned, which involves their parents and siblings in physical activity.

On Dec. 11, 2006, Stokes will be recognized by the Warren County Board of Education for his award.