My Turn: Gina Dean

Physical Education Teacher, Pocomoke Elementary School, Worcester County

Physical Education Teacher, Pocomoke Elementary School, Worcester County

I believe that one of the biggest problems facing education and today’s society is obesity, inactivity, and the lack of volunteerism.

It’s my mission to create a positive learning environment where students develop the physical and mental skills to be successful through individual and team physical interaction, peer support, and cooperation. My motto is: give it your very best, no matter what! For my students and me, “can’t” just isn’t an option.

I want my students to appreciate the positive attributes of daily physical activity and healthy eating habits in their own lives. So to complement my curriculum, I’ve initiated during and after school fitness and walking clubs for students and faculty to promote healthy living. To get parents, families, and the community together, I hold an annual dancing through the decades party where everyone dresses up in fashions from their favorite era. We start in the 2000s and by the end of the night we’re all doing the bunny hop and hokey pokey!

Community involvement is a family tradition and a true passion of mine. My parents have always demonstrated and encouraged giving back to our community and I now volunteer at many youth athletic programs. I’ve also worked with the Pocomoke and DelMarVa fire auxiliaries for the last decade — they support the local fire department where my family members have served for years.

Five years ago, I became active in the Worcester County Teachers Association (WCTA). My passion for the union began when I realized I would be working a grueling schedule due to contract language that didn’t give “specials” teachers the same planning time as classroom teachers. I realized I had to stand up for change, take action, and find a way to make a difference! Today I serve as a building rep, member of the WCTA Executive Board, and a negotiations team member.

And yes, the contract has been changed to give equal planning time to specials teachers. I’m making a difference — and you can, too!