Melanie Flink interacts with one of her students in the gym.

Elementary physical education teacher Melanie Flink has been awarded the Mabel Lee Award from the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). Flink will be recognized at the 2015 National SHAPE Convention in Seattle in March.

The Mabel Lee Award recognizes members who have demonstrated outstanding potential in scholarship, teaching, and/or professional leadership.

Flink has been with Bellingham Public Schools for two years and teaches physical education at Happy Valley and Lowell elementary schools.

Flink was nominated for the award, but had to submit curriculum, a biographical sketch which highlights her active roles within SHAPE America, published works, leadership roles, and evidence of an outstanding level of teaching.

“I was not expecting to win,” said Flink. “I feel very honored and excited. It feels great knowing the energy I put toward things I’m passionate about, generating healthy, active and physically educated kids, inside and outside the classroom, has been validated and recognized.”

“This is a huge honor for Melanie,” said Happy Valley principal Karen Tolliver.

The Mabel Lee Award is named for the first female president of the American Physical Education Association in 1931.

Flink will be recognized at the SHAPE National Convention and Expo on March 27 in Seattle. In addition to being recognized at the convention,  Flink also attended the National SHAPE America Speak Out Day in Washington D.C. in February. Flink spoke with legislators about the importance of supporting physical education for students. She was one of three representatives from Washington state.


  1. Congratulations Ms. Flink, and in my opinion this is well deserved recognition to you!!!! All three of our children LOVE PE, and that is a true testament to your outstanding skills as their physical education teacher. We are very fortunate to have your influence in their lives.

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