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Teacher pushes phys ed; Primary School educator takes show on the road.

Byline: Betty Lilyestrom

COLUMN: Leicester Notebook

Primary School's Robert F. FitzPatrick may not have won the title of National Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year last month, but he did come away from the Baltimore competition with a contract that will send him all over the country next year to promote the cause of physical education.

Mr. FitzPatrick had won the Eastern District title and was in Baltimore last month, competing with the four other district winners for the national award. It was a daunting competition over several days, filled with interviews, practices, workshops and presentations. When it was over, the district representative from Indiana was declared the national winner, but all five finalists were given contracts to promote the importance of physical education nationwide, beginning later this spring.

Mr. FitzPatrick has agreed to make presentations in Kansas, Rhode Island and Indiana, with more to come.

Part of the program in Baltimore involved a lengthy presentation before an audience of mostly physical education teachers at the convention of the National Association for Sports and Physical Education, sponsor of the award program.

Working with Debbie Goran, a teacher from Weston, Mr. FitzPatrick gave a workshop on how to make gym programs indispensable, despite budget cuts.

It was quite a success, according to local School Committee member David Stanick, who was there to see it.

"There were well over 300 people there," said Mr. Stanick, who was a student in Mr. FitzPatrick's classes when he attended Primary School. "They were sitting on the floor, on the seats and the backs of chairs and standing, and they were paying attention to every word. And afterwards, he got five pages of e-mails commending him for the program."

Mr. FitzPatrick's rooting section in Baltimore included his wife, daughter and son, as well as Leicester Superintendent Michael N. Dubrule and Primary School Principal Doris M. Whitworth, with whom Mr. FitzPatrick has worked for the last 19 of his 34-year teaching career in Leicester.

While that part of his career will be ending with his official retirement in June, another, broader career facet will be just beginning with his national work.

Scott F. Broskey, who lost a bid for a Planning Board seat by 97 votes in the annual town election Monday, said he hasn't given up working for the two projects that fueled his campaign: finding renewable energy and bringing the right type of business to Leicester.

Mr. Broskey, who has lived in Leicester for about eight years, wasn't available Monday night to comment on his defeat by Leicester teacher Jason D. Grimshaw, who has lived here all his life.

"I was out picking up my campaign signs," Mr. Broskey said.

But he wanted voters to know he will be working with state and local officials to develop a renewable energy plan for the town, and with selectmen to develop a marketing program to bring in new business "without turning our town into a Shrewsbury." He said he will continue to work as an associate member of the Planning Board until the end of this year.

Jacqueline Gordon sent along an e-mail this week to say, "It's French student time of year again."

LEC, the Paris-based organization that sends students to Central Massachusetts every summer, is looking for host families for their program in July, Mrs. Gordon said.

The students are 14 to 18 years old, have spending money and insurance, and will be here from July 5 to 25. They have no scheduled activities, but enjoy exploring New England with their hosts. In return, the host families will receive a stipend.

LEC this year is also looking some host families whose members are teachers and could provide their student guests with private English lessons for 10 or 15 hours a week for two to three weeks. The teacher will receive payment for both teaching and hosting. For more information, call Mrs. Gordon at (508) 892-8027.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 6, 2007
Words:652
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