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Brian McMillan (left) presents alumnus Florencio Castillo with the Manitoba Physical Education Teachers Association Interlake Region Award.

Phys. Ed. teaching earns rewards for Faculty of Education alumnus

'He is always willing to help out in any capacity,' say colleagues

December 4, 2015 — 

For Faculty of Education alumnus Florencio Castillo, physical education is a way of life.

After graduating from the faculty’s Internationally Educated Teachers (IET) program in 2007, he went on to take numerous positions in Phys. Ed. in various school divisions.

“I like engaging with the students,” he says of his love for physical education. “I have fun with them.”

His dedication to encouraging students to be active has paid off. Castillo was recently honoured by the Manitoba Physical Education Teachers Association at their annual awards night at Fort Richmond Collegiate. He was recognized by the MPETA as the Interlake Award Winner.

Castillo is currently working at the Berens River School as a Phys. Ed. teacher, where he regularly helps organize the Frontier Games and school sports days and volunteers to help train a team for the Manitoba Marathon.

Castillo says working in a community as far north as Berens River, Man., creates some challenges for exercise but also creates opportunities. Students take part in snowshoeing and skiing as part of Phys. Ed., for example. Sometimes they hold ice fishing derbies and they also hold a Winter Games for the students.

The Winter Games include activities such as archery, target throwing and ice carving.

Castillo also works with children in an after-school program at Berens River called Reaching Out and Supporting Everyone. In the program, kids can enjoy a wide range of activities such as baking, beading or playing sports in the gym.

Castillo has been employed in the Frontier Division since 2009. He started his teaching career in Nelson House in 2007 while still in the IET (which is no longer being offered) program and then in Phys. Ed. at Holy Ghost School in Winnipeg. After a position at Leaf Rapids Education Centre, he moved to Berens River School in 2009, where he is now teaching grades K-9. He has also served as the Physical Education Coordinator for the Frontier Division in a term position.

He did his IET program at the U of M with a Phys.Ed. major and also finished his Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Education at UM. Castillo first came to Canada from the Philippines in 2005.

He says he was surprised but pleased to receive the award.

“He is always willing to help out in any capacity and Berens River School is fortunate to have him on their staff. Congratulations to Florencio for being nominated by his colleagues for this award,” said a statement from the school.

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