Krista Zeug is convinced what she is teaching students in the Redwood Area School district is one of the most important things they will ever learn in school.

For Zeug, health and fitness are her passion, because she believes those who are healthy have a much greater chance to succeed in life.

Zeug is the new health teacher at Redwood Valley Middle School, but being in education was not how her life in the working world began. After high school, Zeug earned a degree in exercise science and sports management and later went on to earn a Masters degree in sports science.

Then she spent several years working as an exercise physiologist, which was followed by a research role for the National Children’s Study. Later she also served as a director for a childcare nutrition program.

Along the way, she discovered an opportunity where she could make a difference in the lives of young people, which led her back to school where Zeug earned her teaching certification.

Kids need to learn how to be healthy in mind and body, said Zeug, adding through her role as an educator she can help them down that path. In her classes with students in Grades 5-8, Zeug offers a variety of topics, such as goal setting, stress management and living a balanced life. She also addresses subjects like the food pyramid and diseases. In addition to working with middle-school students, Zeug is also teaching an anatomy class and will offer health to sophomores next semester. 

Zeug spent the past couple of years teaching physical education at the ECHO Charter School before making the decision to come to Redwood Falls and work in the local school district.

“Health is so much more than just meeting physical needs,” said Zeug, adding there is a much more holistic approach to leading a healthy life that takes into account one’s physical as well as their social and emotional needs.

Zeug said coming to Redwood Valley provides a great opportunity for her to just teach health to students, and she is excited for what she called a unique chance to make a difference in the lives of those students.

Zeug said things have been going well in her new role at RVMS, adding one of the biggest challenges is getting to know the names of all of the students who enter her classroom.

“Every day is something new,” said Zeug, adding that is something she appreciates about being a teacher.

When she is not in school Zeug stays very busy with her family, which includes husband, Paul, and their four children, Katelyn, Sam, Abby and Michael. Just taking in their activities, whether it is sports or 4-H, is enough to keep her consistently on the go. She also enjoys gardening in the summer.

Zeug said she has been very impressed with her experience in the Red-wood Area School District, adding she appreciates how welcoming and accepting the staff was when she came.

Healthy living is a choice everyone can make, and as an educator Zeug has the chance to help the next generation of students develop the life skills they will need to live long and healthy lives.