Mr. Will Is Shape America’s National Teacher of the Year!

Mr. Will Is Shape America’s National Teacher of the Year!

HE DID IT!!!!!

Please join us in celebrating Mr. Will, who is now officially Shape America’s NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR!

Check out the announcement and full press release here.

Shape America Announces Teacher of the Year, Mr. Will

Belmont Teacher Honored as National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year 

 ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION, MD, May 13, 2020 — 

William Potter, an elementary physical education teacher at Serendipity School in Belmont, California, was recently named the National Physical Education Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators) at its first ever virtual event. The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding teaching performance in physical education and the ability to motivate students to participate in a lifetime of physical activity. 

Potter, a physical education teacher in the Western District with more than sixteen years of experience, vied with four other district winners for the distinguished honor of National Physical Education Teacher of the Year. This year marked the beginning of a new enhanced sponsorship between SHAPE America’s Teacher of the Year and Goodheart-Willcox, Gopher, SPARK and Wellness Training Specialist. In all, six National Teachers of the Year were selected in the areas of adapted physical education, dance education, health education, elementary physical education, middle school physical education and high school physical education. 

“Will’s Physical Education Program is engaging, motivating, creative, inspiring, and supports and educates the whole-child. He inspires them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle and possesses an incredible ability to transform curious young children into lifelong learners,” says Meaghan A. Carr, Head of School at Serendipity School. Not only does he inspire his students, he also gets “parents involved in physical activity with the children. He has implemented home challenges to keep the kids moving with their parents at home and offers them rewards at school.” 

Potter adopts a creative and holistic approach in his teaching of Physical Education. His classes are also cross curricular, which helps students to create connections with other areas of learning, as well as real world applications. 

“Math, science, language arts, and social studies can all be found in the activities I do. Most recently I have begun implementing STEM into my physical education program. The most applicable way STEM and physical education go hand in hand is in the 4 C’s: Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration. My students are truly enjoying learning about and applying the problem solving techniques used in STEM; by incorporating those components, I am able to add a new dimension to my teaching, giving students unique ways to grasp concepts.” 

Potter takes the lead in advocating for physical education by attending SHAPE America’s SPEAK Out! Day, and in 2005, created Serendipity School’s first physical education program. Some of his accomplishments include, CAHPERD Vice President 2020, Director of the 2013 Elementary Physical Education Workshop, and candidate for CAHPERD President 2022. Potter’s professional affiliations include presenter at the 2018 National Convention (Nashville), 2018 SHAPE Western District Conference (Boise), 2019 National Convention (Tampa), and 2019 SHAPE Social and Emotional Learning Professional Learning Institute (Sioux Falls). He received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration physical education from San Francisco State University. 

About SHAPE America 

SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators is the nation’s largest nonprofit membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and the National Standards for K-12 Physical Education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country. SHAPE America provides programs, resources and advocacy to support health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit

Mr. Will, we’ve known for years that you are the best. We’re thrilled that the whole nation is now in on the secret. Congratulations! We love and adore you.

More of Mr. Will in the News:

May 4th, 2019

Serendipity School is proud to announce that our P.E. Teacher, a 2019 Teacher of the Year, is currently in Washington advocating for Physical Education in our nation’s schools.

Teacher of the Year Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Health & Physical Education

SHAPE America Members Will Ask Congress to Fully Fund Title IV, Part A of ESSA

Serendipity School’s very own Mr. Will was recently honored as Physical Education Teacher of the Year by California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Mr. Will has provided unsurpassed Physical Education programming at Serendipity School for the past 13 years, and strives to provide the most positive and comprehensive physical education experience possible for his students. He accomplishes this through creative standards-based instructional design, the use of student portfolios, and an inclusive whole-child approach that encompasses social-emotional as well as physical learning and development. Will believes that the most important thing he can give to his students is a lifetime love of movement.  

Meaghan Carr, Head of School at Serendipity states, “Will’s PE program is engaging, motivating, creative, inspiring, and supports and educates the whole child. He inspires children to lead an active and healthy lifestyle and he possesses an incredible ability to transform curious young children into lifelong learners.”  

Mr. Will shares his passion for physical literacy both locally and nationally; he is a regular presenter at Physical Education conferences and workshops across the country. Now, in an effort to educate new members of Congress about the importance of a well-rounded education within the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Mr. Will will be on Capitol Hill from March 5th through 6th, advocating for full funding to support professional development for teachers and health and physical education programs in schools. Mr. Will is asking lawmakers to fully fund the federal education program Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, under ESSA.

Mr. Will joins more than 150 fellow health and physical educators representing 39 states on Capitol Hill to take part in the SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators 12th annual member advocacy day, SPEAK Out! Day, on March 5-6.

When ESSA was passed in 2015, health and physical education were designated as part of a well-rounded education, making these subjects eligible for federal education funding for the first time. Under a new ESSA program, Title IV, Part A, schools will receive funding to support a well-rounded education, safe and healthy student programs, and effective use of technology. Congress funded Title IV, Part A at $1.1 billion and $1.17 billion in FY18 and FY19 respectively. As Congress reconciles appropriations for FY 2020 and beyond, its critical that the health and physical education community continues its strong advocacy efforts for this important funding stream for schools. “Under this block grant, we are competing with many other subject areas and programs for financial support. We need to make sure that the pot of money is as large as possible to ensure that health and physical education programs will have the chance to access at least a portion of that funding,” says Mr. Potter

During these Capitol Hill meetings, teachers and advocates will offer insight and perspective on the negative impact of marginalizing health and physical education in schools. They will also share success stories and the links that exist between health, physical education, and social emotional learning and academic achievement.

SHAPE America’s Director, Public Policy and Advocacy Carly Wright says it is critical to fund Title IV, Part A at a meaningful level as many state’s ESSA plans address student wellness, physical education, or chronic absenteeism, which is often impacted by a student’s health and physical activity habits.

“This new session of Congress brings many new legislators to Capitol Hill and new committee leadership that will oversee federal education issues. This gives us an important opportunity to develop new champions in Congress for health and physical education,” says Wright. “In turn, we must be laser-focused on cultivating a strong voice in Washington, DC on behalf of the health and physical education community.”

In addition to pushing for full funding for Title IV, Part A, advocates will also ask Congress to support continued funding for Title II, Part A, which supports professional development for all school employees, including for health and physical education programs.

For more event details, visit SPEAK Out! Day. Find updates during the two-day event by following @SHAPE_America and #MoreTitleIV on Twitter.

About SHAPE America

SHAPE America — Society of Health and Physical Educators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association and the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Its vision is to have a nation where all children are prepared to lead healthy, physically active lives —and its programs and resources support the teachers who are making a difference every day. Through SHAPE America’s advocacy efforts, groundwork was laid for the inclusion and elevation of health and physical education in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). SHAPE America continues fight for increased funding for these critical K-12 programs.


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