Faculty Spotlight: Matt Gabellieri
Because he works with every grade at Meadowbrook, Matt Gabellieri has the rare opportunity to guide the same students from their earliest days of junior kindergarten all the way through eighth grade. “For the youngest kids, our goal is simply to get them physically active,” he explains. “They may not know that they’re exercising – but they are.” As they grow and mature, students are exposed to different types of warmups and other activities, learning basic principles of physiology that will serve them well as they play more competitively in Middle School.
“I feel extremely lucky to be a teacher at Meadowbrook,” Mr. Gabellieri says. “We have the freedom to build our own curriculum – and access to the resources to put it into practice.” By attending numerous conferences and observing his peers at other schools, Mr. Gabellieri has adopted new best practices to enrich students’ experience over the course of his seven years at Meadowbrook.
Mr. Gabellieri believes physical education is about more than simply practicing sports. For example, third graders vie for the Golden Sneaker award – a prize given to a student who demonstrates exceptional sportsmanship and exemplifies what it means to be a good teammate. The winner earns the privilege of leading their peers in warm-up exercises. “They learn a great deal about the responsibilities of being a leader,” he says. “That lesson will continue to resonate with them far beyond the field or the court.”