Fuel Up to Play 60 Advisor Named Teacher of the Year!
Jeff Stevenson’s passion for education, physical activity and wellness shines through in the work he does with Waterford School District.
Jeff not only serves as the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) Program Advisor in 14 schools in the district, he teaches Physical Education and Health and is the Reproductive Health Supervisor. Outside of the school day, he is a three-season coach for Waterford School District. This relentless dedication was recognized when Jeff was named the Waterford School District Teacher of the Year – the highest honor for teachers in the District.
Embracing Fuel Up to Play 60
Thanks to Jeff’s leadership and collaborative efforts with the district’s Food Services, Waterford has participated in FUTP60 every year since its inception. Always looking for innovative ways to reach students, the Waterford FUTP60 team engages the entire student body with a kickoff that, in 2019, included a dance-off, milk chug toss and yogurt dip tasting. The kickoff is a great opportunity to engage students in signing a pledge for a healthy school year. Not only has Pierce Middle School enhanced their school meals menu, but they combine nutrition and physical activity with a district blender bike which was unveiled at a healthy tailgate lunch! Innovation is the name of the engagement game in Waterford School District.
Jeff, on the blender bike, with some of his students.
Jeff’s passion for FUTP60 doesn’t end in Waterford. He has attended several Rally for School Health events at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, to advocate for and assist new schools in starting FUTP60 programs of their own, as well as sharing his experience to other districts around the state to inspire new schools to onboard the program. Not only is Jeff a leader in the FUTP60 program, but one of his students, Aidan Stark, was named the 2019 State Ambassador. Engaging students like Aidan in self-advocacy and leadership is a critical component to long term health and wellness.
Partnership and Collaboration
When asked about his proudest moment as an educator, it all boiled down to teamwork for Jeff. Early in his tenure with Waterford, he partnered with former Foodservice Director, Doreen Simmons, to form a district Wellness Team. (Jeff and Doreen are pictured above.) This team continues to be focused on wellness of both students and staff. He was also able to successfully integrate physical education with art and music teachers at the elementary level on a project called Rhythm and Movement.
Jeff said that the partnership with FUTP60 and UDIM has spiraled into many other projects together, like the opportunity to enhance school breakfast opportunities at Pierce Middle School. This collaborative program with United Way of Southeastern Michigan, Oakland County and Oakland County’s Better with Breakfast program enhanced school breakfast by offering Second Chance Breakfast between first and second period, serving 50 students breakfast in under 5 minutes from a breakfast cart in a high-traffic hallway of the school. Jeff encourages student leaders to make their voices heard and advocate for programs such as this to benefit all students.
Jeff (fourth from left in the back row) and his students at a FUTP60 rally at Ford Field.
Adapting to the “New Normal”
Even in a virtual environment, Jeff continues to be dedicated to the health and wellness of his students. The FUTP60 homeroom has been a great tool to engage students. Jeff says, “Students can still log in virtually, track their progress, and be active. It’s a win-win.”
A Lifetime of Health
At the end of the day, it is all about creating healthy futures for his students, “Fuel Up to Play 60 has been such a blessing to our school district. The program has given so many of our students an opportunity to see the importance of healthy life choices and those lessons, I hope, will be lifelong learning goals.”
Thank you, Jeff, for your relentless work and passion for health.