Henrico’s Top Teachers – Doug Budryk

Thanks to his educator father, Douglas Budryk grasped at an early age the power of a teacher to touch the lives of his students. “I was awed by his influence,” Budryk recalls of his dad. “I saw the lifelong impact educators could have on kids.”

Today, at Holman Middle School, Budryk has been able to have that same lasting influence on the physical and emotional well-being of his health and P.E. students. He doesn’t simply teach them the value of physical activity and healthy lifestyles, but helps build their confidence and shape positive attitudes.

He even – gasp! – convinces them to eat their vegetables.

“My mom thinks he is awesome,” wrote a student, “because she tried to get me to eat vegetables of any kind for 12 years. But it wasn’t until his class that I was not only willing to try new foods, but even found some that I like!”

One way that Budryk has engaged students in the practice of good eating is by developing a game called “Produce Baseball,” which encourages them to eat better diets at home as well as at school. His easy way with students and frequent use of humorous stories from his own experiences also helps to get the message across.

“He really connects with his students, and is viewed as a friend rather than a teacher by many,” says his veggie-loving student. “I am in high school now, and still keep in touch with him.”

The student adds that Budryk’s efforts to encourage his volleyball playing in class also helped ease the transition to the specialty center that he attended after Holman, which he entered knowing only one or two classmates. Despite having never played volleyball outside of gym class, the student tried out and made the high school team.

“I owe it to Mr. Budryk,” he says, “because of all the basic fundamentals he taught me in class. But more importantly, I wouldn’t have tried out for team if it wasn’t for him. He provided me with the opportunity to meet new friends and take a chance at a sport I didn’t know much about.”

To Budryk, it’s always rewarding to hear from students who have gone on to success beyond Holman, and who have changed their diet or exercise habits based on what they’ve learned in his class.

But perhaps the most rewarding feedback he gets is from students who are inclined to resist such change.

“I feel especially pleased when it’s a child who typically doesn’t enjoy health and P.E.,” he says.

“I love reaching those who are hard to reach.”
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Henrico Business Bulletin Board

June 2017

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The 2017 Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Richmond Raceway Complex. All guests will receive a souvenir glass for all-you-care-to-taste beer and bourbon. There are 40 bourbons and 60 beers to enjoy. There will also be a great barbecue selection, the Shrine of Swine, seminars in the Tasting Theater, live music, exhibits and more. Tickets are $49 to $55 for the VIP session (begins at noon) and $39 to $45 for the regular session. For details, visit http://www.beerandbourbon.com/virginia/show-info. Full text

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Henrico's Top Teachers

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