Rising New York Road Runners Leader Doug Rebecca Earns Citywide Recognition

2019 Big Apple Award winner Doug Rebecca surrounded by his students

Every year, New York City teachers are honored at the Big Apple Awards, which recognizes those who go above and beyond for their students and their families.

Among the honorees in 2019 was Rising New York Road Runners program leader Doug Rebecca, who has been a teacher in the city for more than 16 years.

A physical education teacher in Brooklyn, Rebecca works with students with special needs. He has created an environment for his students to learn, grow, and have fun in a safe and supportive setting. As a result of his exceptional dedication to his students, Rebecca was honored with the Big Apple Award.

Since 2016, he has also been a Rising New York Road Runners program leader. He was introduced to the program at a workshop in his district and thought it was a great opportunity to help his students improve their physical health.

“It seemed like it was working for students of similar abilities,” Rebecca said, “so I was excited to give it a shot and see how it went.”

2019 Big Apple Award winner Doug Rebecca with NYRR's Caitlin Francisco and Lydia Gonzalez

Since incorporating Rising New York Road Runners into his school’s curriculum, Rebecca has seen firsthand the impact it has had, not only in his classes, but also throughout the school.

“It’s a staple in our school,” he said. “It has been integrated into every physical education class we have...The students really feel positive about it and I am trying to encourage my students to become physically active for life, so it's crucial to celebrate even the smallest achievements.”

Rebecca’s participation in Rising New York Road Runners has gone beyond his work in his own school. Through his efforts, he has helped to bring many more District 75 schools into the program and develop the program’s inclusivity and events for adaptive youth. His contributions have shaped the program in ways no one could have anticipated.

“NYRR has been an incredible partner in bringing the love of movement to our amazing students,” said Rebecca. “I can't say enough about how NYRR has changed our lives for the better.”

Author: Katie Manzi

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