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My Educator of the Year Submission

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Mr. Lescohier, is an educator, mentor, and friend who has been a part of my life since I was four-years-old. Mr. L started teaching at Swallow Elementary School in 2004, my first year of Kindergarten. My class was the first class to have him for all nine years of elementary schooling.

Mr. L is the physical education teacher at Swallow; however, he is also in charge of organizing the boys and girls Arrowhead Middle School Athletic Sports (AMSAC) for Swallow. Mr. L embodies the gym teacher image. He is in shape and has a booming voice that carries across the gym. We knew class was starting when we heard “Alright, everyone, let’s sit in the center circle” carry across the gym. When we heard this, we all rushed in to sit down and listen to the plan for the day. Then came “boys on the black line, girls on the blue” and we were split into equal teams, always eager to sit in a formation so my friends and I would be on the same team. Mr. L caught on and always changed up the way he counted us off.

I have never had a teacher that enjoys his job like Mr. L. He is immensely passionate about physical education, almost like a flint and steel, sparking that fire in all of his students. He comes to work every day energized with a smile on his face. Our activities ranged from rollerblading, to frisbee golf, and even archery. Mr. L found new activities to instill in the curriculum, and allowed us to spend every day possible outside.

The most memorable thing I recall about Mr. L’s gym class was the day before Christmas. Every year, my friends and I would sprint to gym shaking with excitement. We could not wait to partake in the annual Reindeer Games. Mr. L explained to us how Santa wrote him a letter saying we were all good that year and about the games the reindeer up in the North Pole would play. He divided us into equal teams and spread us out across the gym. The first person chosen by the team was usually the fastest—he was the runner and would have the reindeer reins (jump rope) around his waist. Next, the second person was the driver and sat down on a scooter and held the reins as the first person ran down the slippery gym floor. The cycle repeated for the whole team and we raced against the other teams down to one end of the gym, picked up an item from a hoola hoop, and brought it back to our hoola hoop. We did that until all the other items were gone. The first team to get them all in their hoola hoop won. This taught me how to work together with people I normally wouldn’t, and also was a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit even in middle school. It marked the greatest day of gym every year and is something I will never forget.

Now I am in my senior year and I still go back to Swallow and see Mr. L occasionally, and he consistently wants to know what’s going on in my life. It brings me right back to middle school when we used to sit and talk in the gym office about literally anything.

Our relationship has evolved from the guy who used to make me clean bleachers for cutting through the gym on my way to the lunchroom to a life long friend who gave me an opportunity to be the head basketball coach for Swallow.

When I was younger, Mr. L was the only person who truly understood me and knew how to reach me. I was an energetic, and talkative person that sometimes got a little out of hand in gym, because it was truly my favorite subject. Mr. L would take me aside, and say “Ivan, what’s going on!” He never sent me to the principal’s office. Instead, he handled it himself, and those talks really made me do a lot of growing up.

The last day of class I was extremely sad that our time together had come to an end, and I made a promise to myself to never forget how thankful and appreciative I was for the many years of gym class we shared.

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