Bryan Godfrey has always liked school, sports and working with kids. His dedication to those areas of life have paved the way to him being named the 2017 Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year in Maryland.
Now in his sixth year at Magothy River Middle School, Godfrey has made quite the positive impression on his students and the surrounding community.
“Mr. Godfrey is highly deserving of this award,” said Magothy River Middle School Principal Christopher Mirenzi. “He is an excellent physical education teacher, always planning exceptionally well-integrated lessons.”
The award was presented by the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD). Godfrey, along with many other teachers from across the state, was recognized during an October 20 awards banquet at the Hilton Hotel in Baltimore.
“There [are] a million great teachers and physical education teachers out there that deserve a bunch of credit that don’t [get it],” Godfrey said. “I was the lucky one that was fortunate enough to be recognized. It was a nice humbling validation and a nice pat on the back.”
Godfrey represented Anne Arundel County as its nominee for the award for the last two years.
“Bryan is someone that we go to all the time to assist with pretty much anything,” said Christian Walsh, the coordinator of health, physical education and dance for Anne Arundel County. “He’s always trying innovative things in his classroom.”
A Crofton native, Godfrey considers himself fortunate to be back in Anne Arundel County, working at Magothy River. His mother was a teacher in Prince George’s County, so he spent plenty of time in and around the educational system while growing up.
“I am just incredibly grateful for this community,” Godfrey said. “People have really taken me in as one of them.”
Along with demonstrating exceptional teaching skills, part of the criteria for the award focused on being a role model to students.
“I find that’s the biggest part of my job,” Godfrey said. “I try to model how you should act – attitudes you should have, how to carry yourself, how to treat other people and even the idea of modeling exercise.”
That mindset has carried over to his extracurricular involvement. Godfrey is an assistant coach for the Broadneck boys varsity soccer team and the girls varsity basketball team.
“I think if I can influence those attitudes and be a good role model for them, that’s arguably my most important role,” he said. “I work hard for that reason.”
At times, Godfrey can be found using the school’s weight room early in the morning before students arrive. “You have to carve it into the schedule. If I’m looking for when to do it, it will never happen,” Godfrey said. “I get to work an hour early and make it a part of my day.”
Godfrey has also started an eighth-grade weight training club, allowing him to share one of his passions with younger students.
Last year, Godfrey created a countywide basketball program called Shoot 4 Success. The program was geared toward students who maybe struggled in school and helped motivate them with basketball. That culminated with a tournament at Old Mill High School.
All of Godfrey’s hard work has been noticed by his colleagues, who were thrilled to see him recognized as 2017 Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.
“Mr. Godfrey is an excellent role model for students; his character is impeccable,” Mirenzi said. “Our school is fortunate to have him among our faculty.”