The Pony Express

Salmi wins Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year

Salmi+helping+sophomores+Sarah+Hanselman+and+Ethan+Vargas+work+out+during+physical+education+class.
Salmi helping sophomores Sarah Hanselman and Ethan Vargas work out during physical education class.

Salmi helping sophomores Sarah Hanselman and Ethan Vargas work out during physical education class.

Photo by Zach Johnson

Photo by Zach Johnson

Salmi helping sophomores Sarah Hanselman and Ethan Vargas work out during physical education class.

Zach Johnson, Social Media Editor

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Darrell Salmi won the award Secondary Teacher of the Year in the state of Minnesota. This award was given to him by MNSHAPE, an organization in Minnesota that gives professional services and resources to teachers. Salmi received the award to honor and recognize for his outstanding services and contributions in secondary school education.  

Salmi has been a phy ed and health teacher in the Stillwater school district for 22 years. He also coaches the offensive line for the varsity football team and coached boys and girls hockey for over 15 years. Before teaching, Salmi spent four years in the United States Navy.

When Salmi got out of the Navy he was not sure what he wanted to do, but knew he wanted to work with people. After a lot of coaching and working at the YMCA, Salmi decided he wanted to work with kids which meant he was going to become a teacher.

“I thought about working with kids and decided I enjoyed that process. So that’s how I got into it,” he said.

As a teacher the biggest accomplishment is seeing kids choosing to be physically fit, choosing healthy nutritional habits, choosing to be healthy members of communities such as our school community, those are the big achievements for me.”

— Darrell Salmi

Salmi gets his motivation as a teacher partly from the Navy. Salmi said, “When you go through that sort of training as a younger person it certainly stays with you over the course of time. In terms of being prepared and being able to adapt to the things that are going on around you, it is really important.”

To win the award, he had to be a part of Minnesota Society of Health and Physical Educators or MNSHAPE. It is an annual award picked by a board of directors. The vision behind MNSHAPE is to get learners to think on their feet.

Salmi explained MNSHAPE is, “a professional organization called SHAPE” in the United States dedicated to help the advancement in health and phy ed classes.”

Salmi keeps his class focused, but also enjoys having fun. For example, he gives nicknames to some of his students.

“I think mine is Waltonator,” junior Matt Walton said.

As a teacher the biggest accomplishment is seeing kids choosing to be physically fit, choosing healthy nutritional habits, choosing to be healthy members of communities such as our school community, those are the big achievements for me.

Before students enter Salmi’s classroom he will almost always be standing at the door waiting to greet students by giving a handshake. This shows the level of profession Salmi brings to the table, but at the same time likes to make his classroom a fun environment.

Not only does Salmi teach phy ed, he is also helping an engineer develop a new way to test different heights and lengths jumps. The device is like a step tracker where it clips on the waist, but instead it clips to onto the shoe. The new device doesn’t measure the distance or height you jump, it measures the time a person is off the ground.

Salmi described it as, “Something we can bring into PE class, but also bring it into athletics as well, there’s a lot of different ways I think we can use it.” He also said he’s hoping it will be implemented in the next year or two.

Salmi said this was not his biggest accomplishment, instead he said, “As a teacher the biggest accomplishment is seeing kids choosing to be physically fit, choosing healthy nutritional habits, choosing to be healthy members of communities such as our school community, those are the big achievements for me.”

In the 22 years Salmi has taught at the high school, he has impacted thousands of lives.

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About the Writer
Zach Johnson, Social Media Editor

My name is Zach Johnson and I'm a sports media editor for the SAHS Pony Express newspaper. I play lacrosse and enjoy fishing and hunting. I'm most looking...

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