Missouri Valley / St. Louis

Parkway Central’s Terri O’Leary Named SHAPE America Teacher of the Year

Josh Sellmeyer | January 27, 2023

Terri O’Leary — a longtime educator at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield — was recently selected as a 2023 District Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America. O’Leary earned the national recognition in the High School Physical Education category as the central district’s representative.


“It’s truly an honor,” O’Leary said. “I absolutely love my job and feel truly blessed to work in a district that has such strong support for physical education. Parkway has so many class offerings at the high school level. Every student can find something they enjoy doing that helps keep them active and healthy.”


O’Leary has worked at Parkway Central High School the last 21 years and is the school’s health/physical education department chair. Among her litany of roles at PCHS is school wellness leader, varsity girls’ golf coach and assistant women’s lacrosse coach. O’Leary is a National Board-Certified Teacher.

“My favorite part? Everything. It really doesn’t even feel like work because it’s all the things I love to do,” O’Leary said. “I teach yoga and adventure pursuits — rock climbing, biking, kayaking and outdoor camping skills. And I PE mentor gen-ed kids partnered with autistic kids. It’s like Special Olympics every day.”


O’Leary was recognized as PE Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MOAHPERD) in 2017. That same year she received the Ambassador Award from the Special School District of St. Louis County. In 2005, O’Leary was honored as Missouri Health Teacher of the Year by MOAHPERD, which now goes by MOSHAPE.


O’Leary was one of 20 educators nationally to be named a 2023 District Teacher of the Year in the categories of physical education, adapted physical education, dance education and health education. To view the complete list of SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America’s Teachers of the Year, click here.


SHAPE America serves more than 200,000 health and PE educators across the U.S. and was founded in 1885. The organization helped develop and owns the National Health Education Standards. USTA and SHAPE America are partners and — through a collaborative effort — host PE tennis curriculum Net Generation in schools across the country.



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