by Amy Haggerty
Susan Lockhart believes that physical exercise is important, even essential, for mental and psychological well-being. As a Stockbridge physical education and math teacher, she sets an excellent example for her students. She teaches them that they have the power to change negative thoughts and feelings into positive, rational, motivating thoughts, which helps create a healthy mind in a healthy body.
Lockhart has been teaching for the Stockbridge Community School District for 16 years. Her PE classes are a popular choice for students who take physical fitness seriously. Previous superintendent Karl Heidrich once referred to her PE class as “a challenge.” And as a math teacher, she goes the extra mile to help struggling students. Often you can find her giving of her own time to help a student master a math concept or make up an assignment or test.
Raised in the Munising area of the Upper Peninsula, she was right at home as a student at Northern Michigan University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. Later, after moving downstate, she earned her master’s degree from Marygrove College.
In 2006, Lockhart married her husband Derek, a local guy who grew up in the Stockbridge area. They have two children together: daughter Taylor is 13 and son Evan is 10. The Lockharts chose to settle in the community where Derek grew up and where his family remains. Although a devoted teacher, she describes her greatest accomplishment and joy in life as providing and caring for her two children.
The most influential person in her life was her cross country coach. Not surprisingly, this coach was also Lockhart’s math teacher and played a major role in convincing her to be a teacher and coach. Now a seasoned teacher, Lockhart acknowledges that the staff of the junior/senior high school play a big part in the joy she experiences teaching in Stockbridge.
Lockhart has some words of wisdom to pass along to her students: “Not everything has to go as planned in order for it to be perfect. You have the power to overcome any situation in life and that starts with having a positive attitude and believing you can do it. You’re not judged by the situations you encounter in life, but by how you respond to those situations.” This sage advice is something she helps her students to live up to every chance she gets.
With strengths in both PE and math, Lockhart educates her students on the importance of being well rounded and staying healthy. She cites studies indicating that maintaining a healthy body can help students focus in the classroom, become better learners, and aid in overall classroom performance. Together, these skills can also lead to better grades, higher test scores, reduced absences, and improved memory.
In the Stockbridge Area Schools we are fortunate to have the wealth of wisdom Susan Lockhart imparts to our children about health and wellness and the importance of these fundamental concepts as they develop into healthy, productive adults.