Physical education teacher Gregg Campbell is the 2011 Middle School Teacher of the Year

Moments ago, IUSD’s prize patrol van wheeled its way to South Lake Middle School to announce this year’s Middle School Teacher of the Year.

And the honor goes to …

Gregg Campbell, the school’s veteran P.E. teacher.

Principal Bruce Baron used a campuswide emergency preparedness drill as the ruse to get the entire school outside, where Mr. Campbell’s accolade was revealed.

“I get so much happiness by being Mr. Campbell, South Lake P.E. teacher,” he told the gathered crowd, “and I want to thank all of you.”

A founding member of South Lake, Campbell has served the children of Irvine for 34 years as a teacher and coach. He consistently strives to refine physical education at South Lake as well as his own instruction through professional development.

In addition to weaving Character Education lessons into the school’s P.E. program, Campbell developed a popular lunchtime sports program that has become a model for other middle schools. He and his teaching partner also established a lunchtime buddy system to ensure that special education students feel connected to South Lake and its culture.

And now, one last stop. We know it will be an elementary school, but which one?

Update: To read the official IUSD news release on the 2011 Teachers of the Year, click here. To access The Orange County Register’s story, along with photos from the surprise announcements, click here.