Physical educator receives recognition

16 years ago

    WASHBURN – On Dec. 11, students and staff at Washburn District Elementary School had a surprise visitor.
    Nici Graham Carbone of the American Heart Association-Northeast Affiliate, arrived to a packed gymnasium to announce that veteran teacher Laura Gardiner was the recipient of the 2006-2007 Outstanding Jump Rope for Heart Coordinator Award.

    Carbone said that she nominated Mrs. Gardiner based on the school’s consistent ranking in the top 10 in the northeast over the past 22 years. Over this time frame, Gardiner has coordinated and assisted students of Perham, Wade and Washburn in the raising of approximately $120,000.
    In her nomination letter, Carbone stated, “Laura is renowned in her professional community as a superb educator. She has mentored many student and teachers, and many have become Jump Rope for Heart coordinators after participating in her event.”
    “She enhances her own program with the American Heart materials to create a well-rounded educational experience for her students. Each time that I have made the four hour drive to Washburn District Elementary School, regardless of the season, I have found her outside with her students. Laura is dedicated to getting students outside and moving.”
    “Laura Gardiner is a lifelong physical educator and health enthusiast. She and her husband have spent their lives dedicated to physical education. Laura can be found outside year-round, with or without her students, participating in various types of vigorous outdoor activities…always with a smile and a sense of fun. Her dedication to the American Heart Association is unsurpassed in the State of Maine and her ability to continue to increase revenue despite the odds against her is indeed outstanding,” said Carbone.
    In 2006-07, all who participated were treated to awards from the American Heart Association. In addition, those who raised $125 or more were treated to a Gardiner coordinated pizza party at the school and an overnight adventure at Gentile Hall, on the campus of the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
    This event was made a reality with the help of Gardiner’s husband, who is in charge of the facility. The students had unlimited access to the gymnasium, swimming pool and rock climbing area.
    Next year’s reward event has yet to be revealed by Gardiner, but Carbone said, “I believe if she does the event, it would be the only type in the nation at this time.”


Contributed photoImage

Laura Gardiner