Lea Bryant, a health teacher at the East Hampton Middle School, has been named Suffolk County health teacher of the year by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. She was honored during a ceremony last Thursday at the West Sayville Country Club.
Her contributions, including helping to lead the school’s annual 5K run and walk and annual Thanksgiving food drive, as well as establishing a ballroom dancing program, were also recognized on Tuesday at a meeting of the East Hampton School Board.
Ms. Bryant “embraces our middle schoolers with enthusiasm, good humor, and a stance that is both authoritative and supportive,” Charlie Soriano, the school’s principal, said in a letter to the association last year. “She shepherds them through the trials and tribulations of puberty, drugs and alcohol, and peer pressure in a purposeful, realistic, and warm way — so that all kids feel heard, legitimized, and appropriately loved.”