My Teacher Is an Olympian Contest

Congratulations to our student and educator winners

Grand prize winner

Lillianna Fells, 3rd Grade, Moscow Elementary Center, North Pocono School District

Lillianna Fells, a third-grade student in North Pocono School District, is the winner of the “My teacher is an Olympian” contest, sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Education Association, Partners for Public Education, and the Pennsylvania PTA.

Fells’ entry explained the reasons she believes Sherri Hughes, her third-grade teacher at Moscow Elementary Center, exemplifies the qualities of an Olympic athlete.

Hughes was honored to be compared to an Olympian.

“I have such a high level of respect for these particular athletes,” she said. “They show stamina, perseverance, motivation, and a respect for other human beings. As an educator, I must show up every day with the same qualities.”

“Educators in Pennsylvania’s schools give their all every day to ensure the success of their students, just as the U.S. Olympians give their all representing our country,” said PSEA President Dolores McCracken. “Sherri Hughes is a shining example of the great things happening in classrooms across the state.”

“We are proud to recognize the inspirational work of Sherri Hughes,” said Pennsylvania PTA President Bonita Allen. “She has made a lasting, positive impact on her student. We applaud Lillianna’s creativity.”

Read Lillianna's winning entry

Alana Crotzer and DylanOther Contest Winners

Student: Dylan
Age: 8
Teacher: Alana Crotzer
School: John Barclay Elementary, Central Bucks SD
Winning entry  

Erin Diperna and ClaireStudent: Claire
Age: 9
Teacher: Erin Diperna
School: Grays Woods Elementary, State College Area SD
Winning entry  

Kelly Emerick and AbhiStudent: Abhinav
Age: 8
Teacher: Kelly Emerick
School: Hampden Elementary, Cumberland Valley SD
Winning entry  

Dana Karsh and BrookeStudent: Brooke
Age: 8
Teacher: Dana Karsh
School: Garrettford Elementary, Upper Darby SD
Winning entry  

Jannette Vegas and NantStudent: Nant
Age: 8
Teacher: Jannette Vegas
School: Jefferson Elementary, Erie SD
Winning entry 

Kelly Scherrick and NevaehStudent: Nevaeh
Age: 7
Teacher: Kelly Scherrick
School: Central Greene Elementary, Central Greene SD
Winning entry  

Student: Olivia
Age: 6
Teacher: Lori Stom
School: Clearview Elementary School, Bethlehem Area SD
Winning entry  

Allison Godfrey and KarissaStudent: Karissa
Age: 7
Teacher: Allison Godfrey
School: Oakview Elementary School, Lakeview SD
Winning entry 

Student: Jackson
Age: 8
Teacher: Melissa Lopez
School: Miller Heights Elementary School, Bethlehem Area SD
Winning entry 

Shandel Cibelllis and AllisonStudent: Allison
Age: 7
Teacher: Shandel Cibelllis
School: Stewartstown Elementary, South Eastern SD
Winning entry

About the contest

Sponsored by

     Pennsylvania PTA

The “My Teacher is an Olympian” contest was open to Pennsylvania students in kindergarten through third grade. Students were asked to write and illustrate three original reasons explaining how an educator or support professional they know demonstrates one or all of the following qualities of an Olympian: friendship, solidarity, and fair play.

The contest aimed to recognize the great work of the educators, support professionals, and administrators in Pennsylvania’s schools, while showing students that being an Olympian means so much more than being an athlete.

Qualities of an Olympian

Friendship (def.) The state of being a friend.

  • A friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. For many people, friendship consists of a combination of affection, loyalty, love, respect, and trust.
  • This value encourages Olympians to consider sport as a tool for mutual understanding among individuals and people from all over the world.

Solidarity (def.) Union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc.

  • It is important to support each other and share feelings, aims, and dreams.
  • Mutual support brings mutual success on and off the field.

Fair Play (def.) Just and honorable treatment, action, or conduct.

  • Fair play is a complex concept that comprises and embodies a number of fundamental values that are not only integral to sport but relevant in everyday life.
  • Fair competition, respect, friendship, team spirit, equality, sport without doping, respect for written and unwritten rules such as integrity, solidarity, tolerance, care, excellence, and joy, are the building blocks of fair play that can be experienced and learned both on and off the field.

Connect with the PTA

PTA Within Reach

Ways to join the PTA

Learn more about the National PTA Reflections: Within Reach


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