Stemming off previous District success, Health Teacher Michaela Puck sought to expand her level of content and teaching capabilities in nutrition, body systems, exercise, proper technique and programming – the first in the District at the middle school level.
The Foundation’s Classroom Grant program enabled Puck to pursue becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, empowering her to transfer newfound knowledge while properly working and training both students and staff at Bennington South Middle School.
“As the Health Teacher at BSMS, I teach every student here a variety of topics covered in the certification program like nutrition, endocrine systems, and structure and function of body systems.” said Puck, “Often students refer to me for an explanation on various health related topics, which range from ones that we cover in class, to other more sport related concepts.”
The impact Puck can now make doesn’t stop in her classroom.
“As our enrollment increases, the need for both students and staff to have access to insights and assistance provided by an individual with this certification increases,” said Puck, “We have reached a point where we are starting to roll strength training out at our middle schools. Plus, as a volleyball coach I am also more equipped to help the high school athletes in the summer strength and conditioning program. I am able to apply concepts I’ve learned to students such as anatomical adaptations, performance theory, periodization and technique, ultimately helping me create a safe environment for students and athletes to thrive.”
The District currently has two teachers at the high school level, Dr. Mimick and Mrs. Suing, who completed the process and guided Puck in this direction. Mimick’s and Suing’s experience resulted in their level of content and teaching being drastically enhanced while creating a consistent teaching approach. The Foundation is proud to have supported all three teachers by covering costs of the certification exam and prep materials.
“It has always been a dream of mine to achieve the certification, and to be supported through the Foundation and the District made it even more astounding,” said Puck, “I feel that having this opportunity to have a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach at the middle school level puts Bennington Public Schools ahead of the game.”