Featured Teacher: Mrs. Spah from Bismarck High

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 7:44 AM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A Bismarck High School physical education teacher got some special recognition last week for her work inspiring young people to lead healthy lives.

Whitney Spah was just named North Dakota High School Physical Education Teacher of the year by NDSHAPE, the ND Society for Health and Physical Educators.

She’s our Featured Teacher as we learn more about why she stands out in her field.

The students in Mrs. Spah’s class are doing a lot more than working up a sweat in the Bismarck High Karlgaard Gym. It’s about the energy they’re building, not just the heart rates they’re raising.

“We are able to connect on a more mature level and yet, they are still here to have a good time in physical education,” Spah said about teaching high school students.

On the court, Mrs. Spah sets her goals high. She wants everyone to have fun.

“If the gym teacher’s not having fun, the kids aren’t having,” Jack Jebhardt, 11th grade, said.

Mrs. Spah believes the energy they feel here can open new doors off the court as well.

“I want every kid to come to my class and feel they can participate and feel included,” she said.

The teams may be pitted against each other during this class period, but they’re learning that they belong.

Students agree she is creating an atmosphere of inclusion and positivity.

“Everybody’s in a good mood, usually, even though we’re a pretty competitive class,” Ben Richter, 11th grade, said.

Mrs. Spah is working to make sure health and fitness are forever a part of their lives.

“I want kids to be successful. I want them to have fun and be active all in the same class period,” she said.

She’s excited to see where that energy will lead them.

Mrs. Spah has been teaching at Bismarck High for 14 years. She also teaches a class called Fit Female, which includes body image work and a well-rounded view of healthy lifestyles.

If you have a teacher you’d like to see recognized as our Featured Teacher, please send Hope Sisk an email at hope.sisk@kfyrtv.com.