An important part of Marcia Troutfetter’s teaching toolkit has four legs, a wet nose and a tail, and loves to get involved in games with her students. Camry, a service dog, provides an extra spark in Marcia’s physical education classroom at Salina South Middle School.
“I believe in and firmly advocate for the importance of physical education in helping students develop lifelong habits of fitness and healthy behavior,” Marcia declares. “My discussions with students in class have made me painfully aware that their opportunity to exercise and develop good nutritional habits is often being addressed only at school.”
For Marcia, the key to motivating students is helping them experience success—no matter how small. Her educational philosophy is further enriched by teaching special needs students.
“I had no formal training in how to work with these students, yet it didn’t take me long to realize how special these young people are,” she writes, emphasizing her belief that physical education is an area in which inclusion can enhance the experience of both the special student and the regular student.
A case manager for individuals with disabilities notes Marcia’s positive attitude toward students and her willingness to support students with their individual needs. “She incorporates regular education students into her class and pairs them with students that need more assistance,” the observer writes.
Marcia’s enthusiasm inspires her students to pursue careers in education. “I recently switched my area of study so I can help kids like Mrs. Troutfetter has helped me and many others,” writes one former student.
Marcia Troutfetter earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and K–12 physical education from Kansas Wesleyan University, which honored her as an inductee in its Athletic Hall of Fame.