Athlos Academies has recognized three Distinguished Athlos Educators from partner schools nationwide. The Distinguished Athlos Educators award is given annually to three individuals who exemplify quality performance in the Athlos program.
This year’s awardees are Belinda Bergren and Aaron Schwenzfeier from Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, and Barbara Merrell from Athlos Academy of Utah. Award winners demonstrate excellence in their classroom, on the turf, or within their community. Each of this year’s three recipients models a commitment to and understanding of the Athlos Pillars of Performance and contributes to the success of staff and students.
Bergren has been a language educator at the K-12 level for more than eight years. Bergren’s background in business management brings skills to her teaching and administrative duties that greatly benefit the newly developed Athlos Academy of St. Cloud English language learners (ELL) program.
Her management skills help to maximize very complex scheduling for an ELL student population of more than 25 percent of the overall student population. With the diverse needs of this population, Bergren has taken on an extraordinary challenge and has shown that employing grit and optimism brings positive outcomes. Bergren’s work brought life to an ELL program that did not exist before.
Merrell has been a classroom teacher for the past 17 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and completed her master’s degree in both library science and school librarianship from the University of North Texas in Denton. Creativity is a word that best describes her style of teaching.
She loves making learning fun by using art and science to enhance all areas of the curriculum. Merrell understanding the importance of movement and use creativity to blend movement breaks into all aspects of her students’ days.
Schwenzfeier earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of North Dakota. Schwenzfeier has worked as a high school football and head strength and conditioning coach, owned a personal training business, taught at a community college in a health and fitness program, and served as the associate director of strength and conditioning at the University of North Dakota.
At Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, Schwenzfeier consistently exemplifies all three of the Athlos pillars. He constantly researches best practices when it comes to health, fitness, and lifestyle and shares this knowledge with the school community.