Jessica Napier, Berea College Alumna, Nationally Recognized As Health Education Teacher of the Year

Jessica Napier ’00

Jessica Napier ’00 (Photo: LEX 18)

Jessica Napier, a 2000 graduate of Berea College, has been named National Health Education Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America, an organization that champions health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs.

Napier, a Lee County, Kentucky native and health educator at Lee County Middle High School, has been teaching since 2003.

“It was such a shock,” Napier said upon learning of her award. “I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my life when I was so surprised and overcome with emotion.”

The SHAPE America Teacher of the Year program recognizes outstanding teachers in six categories, including physical education (elementary, middle and high school), adapted physical education, school health education, and dance education. SHAPE America membership is comprised of more than 200,000 health and physical education professionals across the United States.

Read the full article about Napier at

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Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.