More Than Just an Award

The phys ed Student of the Month Program is more than you may think.


Alex Cleary

The leaderboard is displayed in C corridor.

Whether it’s hurling a ball through the air, sprinting down the track, or doing just a few more push ups, every student at NVOT has something they excel at in Physical Education (phys ed) class. 

However, those who try harder and push themselves further than other phys ed students may win the student of the month award, given out to the best phys ed student each month. Upon winning, students will receive a letter home and a t-shirt, along with lots recognition from their peers. 

Despite being fun, winning prizes and recognition isn’t the program’s main purpose. The program has a tremendous amount of pride, care and effort put into it from the phys ed staff, and while winning awards is part of the fun in student of the month, it’s not the central idea. In fact, when the student of the month program was initially created, it was created to be more of a leadership program more than anything else. And to this day, the phys ed staff have stayed with this concept.

Student of the Month is more than simply getting the most points in a game or running the fastest mile time, it’s about leadership and teamwork. 

The phys ed department hopes to use the program to highlight these students and give them recognition for pushing themselves to be a hard-working leader.  “We talk about who does great as far as being a leader, showing good sportsmanship, and getting other people involved,” said lead phys ed teacher Mrs. Steffner. The department hopes for these students to inspire others, and improve the class and community as a whole.

However, what makes all of this matter is whether or not students agree with it, and if they enjoy the program as a whole. According to student Catalina Guerra, “I think that this program means leadership and hard work. It shows a spotlight on the students who are working extra hard in gym class.” 

Previous winners of the Student of the Month feel similarly, as according to previous winner Kai Ross, “[Winning the award] motivated me to be a leader to others and show them what is right and what it looks like to put in great effort.”

The phys ed Student of the Month Program doesn’t exist as just an award, it exists to get kids more involved and engaged in their phys ed classes, to recognize the many students who push past their limits, and to build leadership and teamwork skills. Student of the Month inspires students to work hard and enjoy the class more, and according to sophomore Jamie Kim, “it’s the highlight of my day.”