On Tuesday, the most innovative, active and meritorious pre-school and general physical education teachers were traditionally honoured and awarded at the President’s Office.
The awards aim at thanking teachers for their significant contribution to the promotion of physical activity in Lithuania, for organising and conducting lessons, applying innovative methods when educating the younger generation, for working with the communities of educational institutions, and for organising events at the level of the city, of Lithuania, and internationally.
During the ceremony, the laureates were congratulated by First Lady Diana Nausėdienė, the Vice-Minister of Education, Science and Sport Linas Obcarskas and President of the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania (LNOC) Daina Gudzinevičiūtė.
“Play activities, which are so important for every child, especially during the pre-school period, are a wonderful source of experience, self-discovery and good mood. At the same time, it serves well as a great introduction to the formation of good habits. Having started with games and then having got used to regular exercise, movement eventually becomes a conscious choice for children. Healthy lifestyle becomes a constant companion of a growing personality. Everyone gets stronger ‒ children and adults, parents and teachers. Society is getting stronger, and so is our State,” said First Lady Diana Nausėdienė when congratulating the teachers.
The 10 most active educators working in schools and pre-school education institutions were honoured during the awards. The winners were selected by a competent panel composed of LNOC representatives, the National Association of Preschool Physical Education Teachers (RIUKKPA) and the Lithuanian Physical Education Teachers’ Association (LKKMA). The organisers awarded the winners with monetary prizes and unique statuettes.
“Today we are awarding the teachers who, in their work, followed the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger: Together”. Your activity and sincere desire to continuously improve, to use your knowledge to develop a healthier, physically literate society, and to inspire those around you by your personal examples is very important for Lithuania. We sincerely thank each one of you for your precious work and dedication to children and physical activity,” said Olympic champion, LNOC President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė.
The main evaluation criteria of the competition were teachers’ practical activities and contribution to children and youth’s physical activity, as well as development of physical education and sport during the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. According to the organisers of the competition, the evaluation of teachers’ contribution was based not only on victories in sports but also on their activities in developing competences, organising events, applying innovative methods, working with the communities of educational institutions and other activities related to the promotion of physical activity in Lithuania.
“Physical education teachers work in one of the most important areas of education, because without quality physical activity and health promotion, we would not succeed in other areas. It is not easy to incite a modern child’s interest, but you are doing your best and, thanks to your creativity, you find ways to achieve it. I sincerely thank you for this,” Linas Obcarskas, Vice-Minister of Education, Science and Sport, addressed the teachers at the ceremony.
During the awards ceremony, Pijus Česaitis, a student of the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art, performed Nathan Milstein’s “Paganiniana” on the violin ‒ the performance was dedicated to the participating award-winners.
“First of all, I am proud of being a teacher. When I learnt that I had been selected as one of the award winners, I didn’t know how to react. My family was delighted, hugging me, proud, while it took me a while to understand what had happened. And then I felt the tears coming. I realised that this award was an appreciation of all my 35 years of work and efforts, my love for my work, my dedication, my stubbornness and of the constant support by my colleagues and family. I am very grateful for this extra motivation,” said Danguolė Venckuvienė, one of the award winners, a physical education teacher at the Gabrielė Petkevičaitė – Bitė’s Gymnasium in Joniškėlis.
“This award is extremely gratifying to me. It is a great honour to see my name among all the winners. I am excited about bringing this award to my pre-school education institution of my city Raseiniai. This means a lot to our small town. I think that the essential element of successful work is to love what you do, then your baggage of knowledge grows unnoticeably, while the children start sensing the love of physical activity and take it over. And when working with children, you must dare to step into a child’s shoes, at least briefly ‒ the joy of movement is very important for physical literacy education, therefore I suggest you remember to cherish it all the time,” said Diana Pečiulienė, a physical training educator at the Raseiniai Nursery School ‒ Kindergarten Liepaitė, after the awards ceremony.
The project has been initiated and organised by the LNOC, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, LKKMA and RIUKKPA.
The award winners:
Sonata Jonauskienė (Kaunas Nursery School ‒ Kindergarten Klausutis and Kaunas Nursery School ‒ Kindergarten Spindulys)
Diana Pečiulienė (Raseiniai Nursery School ‒ Kindergarten Liepaitė)
Indrė Jurgaitienė (Šiauliai Nursery School ‒ Kindergarten Rugiagėlė)
Eirūnė Žuklevičienė (Kaunas Nursery School ‒ Kindergarten Varpelis)
Ieva Pavlovskienė (Kaunas Nursery School‒- Kindergarten Vyturėlis)
Irutė Juršėnaitė (The Gymnasium of Blessed Theophilius Matulionis)
Laura Sekmokaitė (Vilnius Saulės Gojus School)
Danguolė Venckuvienė (Joniškėlis Gabrielė Petkevičaitė – Bitė’s Gymnasium)
Erika Rusonienė (Alytus Dzūkija School)
Jolita Gvergždienė (Lithuanian Sports University Kėdainiai Aušra Progymnasium)