SHAPEWV winner Rick Thomas with Bridge Street Principal Jessica Broski-Birch

Bridge Street Middle School physical education teacher Rick Thomas has again been recognized for his excellence as an educator. 

Thomas has been named as the West Virginia 2021 SHAPEWV (Society of Health and Physical Educators) Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. He was chosen based on his commitment to his profession and his willingness to work with other professionals and professional organizations. According to SHAPEWV, Thomas’ “love for students shines brightly through all of the opportunities you give them.” 


“Receiving this award is such an honor because there are so many excellent physical education teachers in our state,” Thomas said. “I am very proud to be a Bridge Street Red Devil teacher, and I’m proud to teach for Ohio County Schools. To also be recognized as the West Virginia Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year is quite an honor.”  

Thomas graduated from Wheeling Park High School in 1977 as a member of the school’s first-ever graduating class. He then graduated in 1981 from Oklahoma Christian College with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and a minor in history. Thomas was an educator in Oklahoma until 1998 when he returned to Wheeling. He became a substitute teacher for Ohio County Schools until he was hired full-time at Bridge Street in 2003. 

In 2012, he was named the West Virginia Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (WVAHPERD) Middle School Teacher of the Year. In 2013 and 2019, he was named the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce Middle School Teacher of the Year. Thomas is also Bridge Street’s athletic director.  


SHAPEWV, is a professional education association with a diverse membership ranging from pre-professional college students whom are preparing for a career in education to beginner and long-standing educators at the primary, secondary and college levels. We welcome all professionals in the field to become members and enjoy membership benefits including collaboration and fellowship with colleagues across the state, professional development, graduate credit opportunities and liability insurance.  We convene annually at our state conference where attendees participate in activity sessions and lecture sessions.   SHAPEWV works with SHAPE Midwest, a sub-division of SHAPE America. Further your professional development and grow your collaborative network by becoming a member of SHAPE America and participating in these organization's events as well.