A Casper P.E. teacher has been awarded the Wyoming Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Nathan Vondra has worked at Manor Heights Elementary School for the past fifteen years.

In a press release from the Natrona County School District, Vondra credits the success of his program to the students he works with daily.

“The students are my motivation/inspiration. They deserve the best of the best; this is what I try to provide for them. I work hard to continue to grow as an educator and find new and innovative ways to motivate them. The slogan for my program at Manor Heights is ‘kids learning and loving to move and play!’ this is what I hope to achieve every day!”

Vondra also plays a key role in organizing school-wide activities such as the recent food drive supporting Wyoming Food for Thought and Manor Heights' "Jumping Jaguars" team and their  annual tradition of supporting Special Olympics Wyoming.

Last year, the “Jumping Jaguars” donated over $15,000 to Special Olympics Wyoming and received an award for the most jumpers on a team.

Principal Kent Thompson said, “Mr. Vondra is an exceptional teacher. Our students enjoy going to class because Mr. Vondra makes learning fun and invigorating. He challenges his students not only to stay physically fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle but also to be good citizens and leaders in their schools and community. He is a leader in our school and works with great enthusiasm and positivity. He is admired and respected by all."

“A teacher's job is to make students feel safe and to give them the skills they need to be successful, contributing adults. Our students are learning so many important life skills when participating in community service projects; they might not even be aware of it until they are out of school and making a difference in their community,” shared Mr. Vondra.

“Educational excellence to me means looking at the students in front of me and using my education and background to give them the best education possible so they can, in turn, be active and contributing citizens. My daily goal is to profess a hard-working, 'yes-man' attitude…sprinkled with a little humor!"

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