The Extra Mile – Andrea Lipper & Vicki Ward, Lackamas Elementary
Andrea Lipper and Vicki Ward have a lot in common. They love teaching, physical activity and, perhaps more than anything, integrating them together.
“I grew up loving to play many sports”, Andrea said. “Playing sports is rewarding in so many ways and has always been a means of social interaction and friendship building. My dad, who taught me many sports skills, encouraged me to become a PE teacher. I love working with kids because of the shared enthusiasm for what we are doing and how we challenge each other to build on skills and develop new strengths.”
Andrea teaches PE at Lackamas Elementary School in Yelm, WA and is inspiring the next generation to be physically active, but she isn’t doing it alone.
“I taught first through third grade for 42 years before I retired”, Vicki said. “A few years later, this great opportunity to teach PE with Andrea one day a week appeared and I couldn’t pass up working with kids again. I enjoy many outdoor activities and have always believed sports is a way for children to blossom. It is so important for children to be fit, set goals, work to achieve them to the best of their ability and learn to encourage others.”
Andrea and Vicki’s passion is helping their students understand the importance of being physically active from an early age, but their motivation is also fueled by the proven health benefits children reap from daily physical activity. When the COVID-19 pandemic began sending students home in March 2020, Andrea and Vicki were determined to find a way to keep their students moving. That’s why, in partnership with Lackamas Elementary Principal Shauna Perez, they began implementing The Daily Mile, a program encouraging students and their teachers to walk, jog or run for 15 minutes every day during the school day, in September 2020.