2023 Vermont Teacher of the Year Robyn Newton Robyn Newton is Vermont’s 2023 Teacher of the Year. The 2022-23 school year marks her 28th year teaching physical education at Vergennes Union Elementary. Robyn is passionate about teaching students new skills, creating unique opportunities for physical activity and play, stressing the importance of movement and health, and bringing joy, fun, smiles and laughter to her students. At Vergennes Union Elementary, Robyn leads PE instruction and PE curriculum planning and management for the school. She led the district's effort to secure a nearly $1 million Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant to provide new equipment, programming and opportunities for the district and VUES. She takes pride in promoting student and community engagement, providing lessons that build trust, respect, and self-confidence. Robyn promotes the importance of movement as a key to help our students physically, mentally and socially. Robyn loves collaborating with her colleagues especially during her two-week multidisciplinary Olympic Unit. She also started the Action Based Learning (ABL) program in Vergennes where she works with the Kindergarten team as well as several interventionists, paras, counselors and administration. This program is a motor development program based on brain research that supports the link of physical activity to increased academic performance. Robyn was Addison Northwest School District’s 2001 Elementary Teacher of the Year as part of UVM’s outstanding teacher program, and previously served as the Vice President of the Society of Health and Physical Educators of Vermont (SHAPE VT) and was the organization’s 2010 Elementary PE Teacher of the Year. She also serves as a member of the Vergennes Parks and Recreation Committee and lead a $300,000 project to renovate the community’s ice rink and basketball facility. She has served as Vergennes Elementary school's wellness coordinator for the Vermont Educator Health Initiative (VEHI) and received VEHI’s Rockstar Award in 2017. Robyn previously served as co-chair of the Vergennes Community Group (PTO) as the teacher liaison. Building a better community for her students and families to be active and play is high on her priority list. She continues to bring in programs, equipment, and new spaces to help provide physical activity opportunities for all. A native of Fairlee VT, Robyn lettered in cross country, basketball and softball at Oxbow High School. Robyn graduated from UVM with a BS in physical education, where she was a fouryear starting first baseman for UVM softball and 1995 Player of the Year. She has a Master’s degree in Education and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Southern New Hampshire University. Robyn coached the St. Michael’s College Softball team for 18 years. In 2004 she was named the SMC & Northeast-10 conference coach of the year. Outside of work, Robyn enjoys traveling, camping, golf, softball, being outdoors and spending time with her family and friends.
"The mission of Vergennes Union Elementary School is to engage our children, families, and community in the lifelong process of learning through exposure to: a rich and challenging curriculum, a skilled, qualified staff, and a safe, nurturing environment in which students will become caring and creative contributors to the diversity of their community and emotionally and academically prepared for the challenges of the future."
"We envision a kind, collaborative, and creative community for all that nurtures a diverse and accessible learning environment. Students will flourish as critical thinkers and productive citizens, cultivating resilience in an ever-changing world."