Central Elementary teacher gets national fitness award

Tom Esparza

Tom Esparza

LAS CRUCES – The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) has chosen Central Elementary School physical education teacher Thomas “Tommy” Esparza to receive a 2010 PCFSN Community Leadership Award.
This year, the PCFSN presented the Community Leadership Award to 28 individuals across the country for making sports, physical activity, fitness, and nutrition-related programs available in their communities. “It is our pleasure to present this award to Thomas Esparza,” said PCFSN Executive Director Shellie Pfohl. “Physical activity, sports participation and good nutrition are important components of living a healthy lifestyle, and we are pleased to recognize individuals like Tommy who are committed to making a difference and positively influencing the health of their communities.”

Esparza has been a respected advocate for children and quality physical education for more than 20 years. He has used his expertise and passion to effect change for all children.

Tommy has also been very involved by leading the way for children to participate in numerous programs, including Punt, Pass and Kick; Pitch, Hit and Run; the Junior Olympic Skills Competition; Jump Rope For Heart; Hoops For Heart; and Hershey’s Track and Field Meets. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of the LCPS Foundation.

Esparza has worked collaboratively with the City of Las Cruces by serving on committees for the Parks and Recreation Department and coaching youth in numerous sports year round.

As for respect from his peers, former Governor Bill Richardson appointed Tommy to his Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and the New Mexico Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance has honored him as state physical educator of the year. In 2001, Esparza was both the LCPS teacher of the year and the New Mexico teacher of the year. During the 2009-10 school year, Central Elementary was awarded the New Mexico State Champions Award for Physical Fitness.

The PCFSN is a committee of up to 25 volunteer citizens appointed by the president of the United States to serve in an advisory capacity through the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Through its programs and partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors, PCFSN acts as a catalyst to promote healthy lifestyles through fitness, sports and nutrition programs and initiatives that educate, empower and engage Americans of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Mike Cook is coordinator for communications and technical writing for Las Cruces Public Schools. He can be reached at mcook@lcps.k12.nm.us



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