Zaharis PE teacher in the running for top educator prize
March 4, 2018
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Active runners, Kris and Mindy Przeor know the joys of crossing the finish line after a tough race, or pushing themselves beyond their perceived limits.
She has especially taken that to heart as a physical education teacher at Zaharis Elementary School.
“It’s amazing when students discover how much they can do, whether it’s learning a new physical skill they’re afraid of or something they don’t think they can do,” she said. “I love it when they say, ‘Look, Mrs. Przeor! I did it!’”
Recently, Kris nominated his wife for the 99.9 KEZ and Taylor Morrison’s Excellence in Education Award for her contribution to the kids and to the development of a Mesa 5K event. Mindy won the monthly prize, and the two organizations visited the school with a plaque and $99. She is in the running now for Taylor Morrison and 99.9 KEZ Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year award.
“You’ve made an impact on so many kids and so many families,” said Marty Manning of 99.9 KEZ, who presented Przeor with the awards.
Brad Schoenberg with Taylor Morrison’s Phoenix division echoed Manning’s sentiment.
“Mindy Przeor is an excellent role model to her students,” said Schoenberg, a division president. “Her dedication extends beyond her role as a teacher. She is a mentor to her community. Taylor Morrison has built its reputation on the kind of dedication and drive that Mindy Przeor has demonstrated through her accomplishments.”
Przeor has received widespread acclaim throughout her career for encouraging students to participate in physical education before and after school. She founded The Running Club.
“That moment of self-discovery—especially when they’re crossing the finish line—is everything,” she said. “It’s been quite the honor. It was a wild fall, as I received the Teacher of the Year honor from the Arizona Education Department prize.”
Among her projects is RUN3rd 5K at Red Mountain High School Saturday, April 7. The event is open to the public and proceeds benefit the RUN3rd Alliance to support area after-school running programs. RUN3rd is a national initiative founded by actor Sean Astin.
“Mindy is one of those rare people who you meet in life that you just want to be around,” Astin said. “I have such confidence in Mindy’s work ethic and her unique brand of inspirational leadership. I can’t imagine this nonprofit project in any more capable and caring hands.”
He will be in town to promote RUN3rd Alliance on Thursday, March 22, and Friday, March 23. Astin will host a Rudy movie party at Alamo Drafthouse in Chandler on March 22, and then an improv comedy show with JesterZ Improv the following night. Visit run3rdalliance.com or jesterzimprov.com for more information.
“Teaching and the 5K run are good ways of sharing my passion for healthy living,” said Przeor, 38. “It’s humbling to be honored. When people notice something you’re doing that you’re passionate about and enjoy, it’s amazing.”