East Noble adaptive physical education teacher Ryan Pepple, left, poses for a photo with students during Bike Day, an annual Special Olympics fundraiser, in this file photo from May 2018.

INDIANAPOLIS — East Noble’s Special Olympics programs and athletes are usually the ones getting the awards, but now it’s the teacher’s turn to be recognized again.

INSHAPE — The Indiana Society for Health and Physical Educators — selected East Noble’s Ryan Pepple as its honoree as adaptive physical education teacher of the year.

Pepple, who has been with East Noble for 14 years, teaches the district’s adapative physical education classes, but also coaches the school’s Unified Knights teams and assists with Special Olympics efforts in the county.

The Teacher of the Year Award enables INSHAPE to recognize the work of outstanding educators. State Teachers of the Year are selected among nominees after rigorous evaluation by the association selection committee. The awards are given in recognition of outstanding teaching performance and the ability to motivate today’s youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.

“Our 2019 Indiana Teachers of the Year are Difference Makers! We are excited for this opportunity to showcase our educators and the value that each has that impact their schools and communities. These Indiana Physical Education and Health teachers enrich students’ lives by putting them on the path to health and physical literacy so that students have every opportunity to live their BEST life,” said Carole DeHaven, INSHAPE president.

The state award recipients will be recognized on Nov. 3 during the organization’s Hall of Fame Awards Banquet concurrent with the state conference.

Pepple is a graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and adapted physical education.

Pepple has received Teacher of the Month and Outstanding Contribution for Special Education Students accolades and most recently was named the 2017 East Noble School Corporation Teacher of the Year.

During his time at East Noble, Pepple has developed a robust Unified physical education class. His students utilize technology with Movbands that keep track of their steps and calories burned. He also partners with a service dog named Wanda in his classroom to encourage students to move so they can get more “Wanda Time.”

After school hours you will find Pepple working with the Unified Fitness Club or coaching the Unified track and field, basketball and flag football teams. East Noble also has several adaptive education students participating on the high school’s football, basketball, gymnastics, wrestling and swim teams.

Most recently Pepple has worked collaboratively with the Cole Center Family YMCA to provide workout opportunities using a modified financial aid package for his students.

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