A Matoaca High School sports medicine and health and physical education teacher was recently named Chesterfield County Public Schools’ High School Teacher of the Year.
Kelly Mahan, 39, was chosen from among 14 teachers who won the top teacher awards at their Chesterfield high schools.
School district officials presented Mahan with the award during her noon-hour classroom May 8.
Belinda Merriman, the district’s director of High School Leadership and a former MHS principal, said Mahan is “fantastic and absolutely stellar and a joy to work with for both students and staff.”
School principal John Murray noted that Mahan brought the Stop the Bleed trauma simulation program to Chesterfield this school year. Matoaca was the first high school in the state to certify students and staff in that program, Murray said, noting that 70 students and 80 staffers were certified.
“By bringing Stop the Bleed to Chesterfield County, she is encouraging our students to take ownership of taking care of one another,” Matoaca District school board member, Rob Thompson, said. “Her lessons are potential life-savers.”
In addition, Mahan organized the Little Feet Meet, a Special Olympics event that brought some 900 elementary students to the school April 30. “It was no small undertaking,” Murray said, noting that Mahan wasn’t paid for the work.
“She’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” junior Mika Cain said. “She’s always here to encourage the students, whatever is going on in our lives.”
Junior Aniyah Austin – who is in one of Mahan’s four sports medicine classes and took a health class from her as a freshman – credited Mahan for helping with her career plans. Mahan “made me realize this is the field that I wanted to go into,” Austin said, referring to speech pathology.
This is Mahan’s fifth year teaching at Matoaca and her third year as chair of the school’s sports medicine and health and physical education department.
The Pittsburgh native was an assistant athletic trainer for the University of Richmond’s football team for three years, her husband, Chris Mahan, said.
After that, she taught at Varina Elementary for seven years before coming to Matoaca.
The Mahans live in Magnolia Green and have three children: Henry, 7, Max, 5, and Ava, 2.
“I’m happiest whenever I’m here (at MHS) and with [her family],” Mahan said after receiving the award.