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Leighton's Lavner named teacher of the year

Debbie Lavner, recently named 2018 Central North Zone Phys Ed Teacher of the Year. Photo credit: The Palladium-TimesHuge congratulations to Leighton's own Debbie Lavner, named the 2018 Central North Zone Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

The below article is from the Monday, Feb. 26 edition of The Palladium-Times. Photo credit to The Palladium-times.

Leighton teacher named elementary phys ed teacher of the year

OSWEGO – A long-time Leighton Elementary teacher has been selected as the 2018 Central North Zone Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
Debbie Lavner, who has taught at Leighton Elementary for 32 years, said she is overwhelmed by the honor she will receive Thursday in Canastota.
“It took a while to set in and realize that it was real. I am truly honored and humbled by this award,” she said.
Lavner said athletics have always been a part of her life, and she wanted a career that would allow her to continue her passion for athletics and her desire to share what she had learned with others.
“I wanted a career where I would wake up every day loving what I do,” said Lavner. “A physical education teacher seemed to be the answer, and it was.”
Though it was difficult for Lavner to choose her favorite aspect of being a physical education teacher, she believes seeing kids motivated to live a healthy lifestyle because of what they learned in class as well as making a connection with them and helping them find success are among her favorites.
“It makes me smile when I see the excitement on a child’s face when they achieve their goal,” said Lavner.
She believes every child needs “something or someone” to help them find their path to success and said, “I hope I can be that catalyst that keeps them motivated and inspired.”
Her job isn’t always easy. Teaching large classes can make it hard to focus on every student. But she makes a strong effort to ensure she gives attention to everyone because “forming good heart healthy habits begin when you are young.”
Her goal is to make physical fitness fun, and she hopes students leave Leighton with the tools to find something they enjoy in the area of fitness and use what they have learned to live a healthy lifestyle.
“A very special part of being a physical education teacher is the inspiration and motivation the students bring me. They inspire me and motivate me every day to be the best I can be,” said Lavner. “They are the reason I teach and look forward to coming to work every day.”
The award ceremony will be held at the Rusty Rail in Canastota following a 6 p.m. dinner.




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