At Santa Clara Unified School District’s May 25 Employee Recognition Tea at Mariani’s, Angie Scott listened as the biography of the soon-to-be-named Teacher of the Year was read aloud.
“I’m a former Santa Clara Unified student and when they mentioned the schools that I’ve attended, that raised some questions in my mind,” Scott says. “When they mentioned the non-profit organizations that I helped – Racing Hearts, American Heart Association, Justin’s House and Creighton Lane Pay It 4ward, that’s when I knew I was about to be named Teacher of the Year. I felt overwhelmed, honored and loved.”
Not only has Scott taught physical education at Wilcox High School, she is also a former vice-principal of the school. For the last nine years, Scott has been an elementary physical education TOSA (teacher on special assignments) and AED (automated external defibrillator) coordinator. She has worked with all 26 of the district school sites as well as the administration buildings to teach CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), AED and physical education to students.
“I was nominated by my fellow TOSAs and the elementary P.E. staff,” Scott says. “I’ve been told I’ve made a huge impact on the lives of our students and staff. I placed 69 AEDs throughout our district, mostly in school buildings. I’ve taught over 9,000 students CPR in the last five years. I’ve supported teachers and students with new research-based programs through our physical education department.”
According to Scott, an AED will reset a heart during a cardiac arrest when the electrical system in the heart is not functioning correctly. Implementing an AED and CPR together can increase the chances of a person in cardiac arrest surviving. CPR keeps someone in the holding pattern by taking oxygen to the brain while the AED resets the heart to hopefully get it beating again.
Scott’s passion for AED and CPR education stems from the tragic death of her mother, a former SCUSD teacher.
“My mom passed away 13 years ago from cardiac arrest,” Scott says. “I want to educate others about using AEDs and giving CPR and prevent pain from a loved one dying. The more people who know CPR and how to use an AED, the more people can be helped when they’re in need. AEDs should be as common as fire extinguishers throughout the community.”
Speaking of cardiovascular health, Scott announces that Wilcox High School will soon be participating in a pilot program to help students build awareness of their heart rates.
“The program, Learning Readiness Physical Education, puts students in a first period physical education class where they will move to be in their target heart rate zone; then the class they most struggle with, math or English, will be scheduled for third period,” Scott says. “Brain research states that physical activity readies the brain to learn by increasing focus, productivity, engagement and motivation and that leads to increased retention of information.”