FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
James Bell Wins Southwest District's Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award
Reston, VA – James E. Bell, adapted physical education specialist in Sequoia Union High School District, Redwood City, California, has been named Southwest District Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). Bell was honored at a breakfast on April 2 at AAHPERD's Annual Convention in Tampa, Florida.
The breakfast was hosted by the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR), a national association of AAHPERD, and sponsored by Sportime, an equipment distributor for sport and game equipment. AAPAR's Adapted Physical Activity Council administers the award in recognition of America's top adapted physical educators. Bell's dedication to his students, passion for his profession, and admiration of his peers and administrators exemplifies what this prestigious national award represents.
Bell, who was also the Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year for California in 2007, has been teaching since 1993. He develops a diverse array of activities, sports, and games designed to accommodate the interests and capacities of students with disabilities. In addition, he volunteers for Special Olympics in Northern California, coaching alpine skiing, floor hockey, basketball, weight-lifting, and track & field events. Bell has also developed and implemented school-based Special Olympics events.
Superintendent Patrick Gemma, of Sequoia Union High School District, notes that Bell's "creative approach is tireless in providing opportunities for our special education students to engage with their peers in a comprehensive high school environment."
Bell has received numerous awards and accolades for his volunteer service in the field of adapted physical education. "Jim Bell doesn't just teach PE," the parent of one of his students says, "he teaches students with disabilities to believe in themselves, to believe that they, too, can make a difference in this world."
Bell earned BA degrees in both kinesiology and adapted physical education from San Francisco State University, with post-baccalaureate work in special education. He also has a BA in psychology from the University of Colorado.
Presented annually, the Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year (TOY) award has been offered at the national level since 1995. In 2000 AAPAR's Adapted Physical Activity Council recognized the work of outstanding physical education teachers at the AAHPERD District level, with Sportime co-sponsoring the award. Teachers must submit an extensive application portfolio, including letters of recommendation from colleagues, supervisors, and parents as well as a video of their teaching.
AAPAR Communications Coordinator