A Clover Park School District story.
Our CPSD Staff Spotlight this week features Oakbrook Elementary School PE teacher Ted Henderson.
Ted joined Clover Park School District as a teacher for Oakbrook in 1989. He taught fourth and fifth grade for seven years before becoming a PE teacher and has enjoyed seeing the generational impact he has made in his community for the past 31 years. “I pride myself on building lasting relationships with my students and their parents,” Ted said. “One of my main golfing partners now is a 42-year-old who was in my first 4th grade class in 1989.”
Everyone enters PE class with different capabilities. Ted connects with each student individually by encouraging them to be their best selves and comparing their progress to previous personal achievements. “If I can make students feel as though I’m a person they can relate to with humor or by just being me, I can put them at ease and earn their respect to keep control of the class while having fun,” he said.
One of his favorite activities that allows him to connect with every student at Oakbrook is morning breakfast. “When I hand out breakfast in the morning, I get to see the kids and their parents every day,” he said. “It’s a way of being positive and giving something simple to the kids like a smiling face. I really hope it’s a start that leads them to a great rest of their day.”
Throughout his time at Oakbrook and as a coach for Lakes High School sports teams, Ted has earned many accolades. He was chosen as the KSTW 11 TV Class Act teacher for the 1992-93 school year, he was voted to be the Pierce County League (PCL) baseball Coach of the Year in 1999, and he was voted to be the PCL Coach of the Year as the Lakes High School golf coach for the 2016-17.