Lyles MS educator named PE Teacher of the Year

The district’s #ChooseGarlandISD campaign touts highly qualified teachers at every campus. But GISD teachers are not just highly qualified. They can even be called the best in the state.

Dahlia Royal from Lyles Middle School was recently named the Middle School PE Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (TAHPERD). She believes her class should be fun and says her approach to teaching is to “be silly as much as possible, build relationships, mentor, not be afraid to try something new, and be a lifetime learner of the profession.”

A PE teacher of 15 years, this is not Royal’s only recognition. She was also named the High School PE Teacher of the Year by TAHPERD while teaching in Richardson ISD. To receive both high school and middle school honors is no small feat. It not only speaks volumes about her skills but also shows her influence among peers. To receive recognition, a teacher must first be nominated. An application is then submitted and a panel of former winners chooses the next honorees.

Royal was recognized among those same peers at an awards banquet in December. Her principal, Adam Varrassi, and GISD’s PE Coordinator, Louise Gartrell, were also in attendance.

“[Dahlia is] a teacher that holds her students to high expectations,” said Gartrell. “She brings passion and purpose every day to her students, empowering them to be the best that they can be. She also seeks ways to give her students real-world applications. Great PE teachers, like Dahlia, give all students regardless of their fitness levels, the chance to learn about their health and enjoy moving. Dahlia knows that what she teaches today not only will impact them in their class but influence them for the rest of their lives.”

GISD’s Board of Trustees continued Royal’s recognition Jan. 23 with an Evidence of Excellence award.