Penny Blauvelt graduated Summa Cum Laude from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 2016. She is currently starting her sixth year teaching Physical Education & Health and also just finished her third year working as an assistant varsity coach for Branford High School girls’ basketball, in Branford, CT. She will also be finishing her Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Exercise Science at Central Connecticut State University in May 2022.
Penny’s father, Army Reserve Master Sergeant Christopher Blauvelt, was severely wounded in action when his vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan in 2010. Penny was in her senior year of high school, and she put her college ambitions on hold to go to Walter Reed and take the responsibility of being her father’s non-medical attendee and caregiver while he was recovering. No Greater Sacrifice was made aware of Penny’s college ambitions and found it a true honor to support her.
Penny enjoys being outdoors and exercising as much as she can, and hopes to run the Army 10-miler next year (where she runs on the NGS endurance team). She says hiking and exercising have been a great way to relieve stress during the pandemic.
When we asked her about her experience teaching during the pandemic, she said, “virtual teaching was a huge adjustment for every teacher and student. We went from seeing our students’ smiling faces every day to now spending a majority of our day on the computer. I think I speak for every teacher when I say we really missed our students. The experience really tested my tech skills - which I appreciate now! As the year went on my colleagues and I went from teaching fully online to juggling with teaching in-person students and students at home simultaneously in the classroom/gymnasium. Even though this was not ideal, we were happy to see our students and made the best of it! We created a PE website, created work out logs, interactive and voiceover PowerPoint lessons, and filmed workout sessions and lessons for our students to follow. I really appreciate everyone's hard work, my amazing co-workers, parents, and students.”
Regarding No Greater Sacrifice, Penny says, “No Greater Sacrifice has helped me fulfill my dreams of becoming a teacher. The support and care they have shown me and my family has been unbelievable. I will always be extremely grateful for NGS. No amount of thanks can truly express my gratitude. The organization, donors, and volunteers will forever hold a special place in my heart and in my life.”