Sayville educator is a finalist for national gym teacher of the year award


A Sayville schools gym teacher is in the running for a national elementary school physical education teacher of the year award.

Lincoln Avenue Elementary School’s Elizabeth “Beth” Bolger has been named the 2021 Eastern District Teacher of the Year for Elementary Physical Education by the Society of Health and Physical Educators, known as SHAPE America.

The award puts Bolger — who is also an assistant coach for Sayville girls’ varsity soccer — in the running for SHAPE America’s National Teacher of the Year Award. The other four nominees are from elementary schools located across the country.

“I am completely blessed and humbled to have gotten this far,” said Bolger, a powerful advocate for fitness and overall wellness among young people.

“The other four candidates are amazing professionals in the field, who I look up to a great deal. I am honored to be in the running alongside each of them.”

Bolger will now create a 20-minute video that lays out her teaching style and philosophy. Additionally, she will submit lesson and unit plans, answer essay questions and participate in a 30-minute interview about what her platform would be if she becomes the National Teacher of the Year.

This isn’t the first time that Bolger has been recognized for her dedication to her work.

She received the 2019 New York State Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award from the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYS AHPERD).