California Educator

December 2018 / January 2019

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F O R P A L O M A R H I G H S C H O O L gov- er n m ent t e a ch er S t e p h a ni e P i o , th e typical school day looks much like any other successful educator's workday : filled with student interaction and dis- cussion, grading assignments, prepping for the next lesson, and all the rest. Th at 's w h ere th e simi l ariti e s en d , however. When the final bell rings, Pio, a m e m b e r of Sw e e tw a t e r E d u c a t i o n Association, sets down the textbooks and heads to her local gym's squat rack to pick up and press literally thousands of pounds — a typical amount during a pow- erlifting training session. If training and competing as an elite powerlifter were not enough, Pio also is an award-winning bodybuilder who participates in drug- tested, steroid-free competitions. Pio's triple passions of bodybuilding, powerlifting and educating young peo- ple nearly always exist in a comfortable space together, but sometimes they do collide. Like the time last spring when her volunteer Grad Nite chaperoning responsibilities took her overnight to Six Flags Magic Mountain — the night before a powerlifting competition to which she had committed months of training. While she readily admits she was "enjoying roll- ercoasters" well past 3 a.m., she will also tell you it led to a series of unfortunate events that barely got her to the competi- tion before her first required lifts. F o r t u n a t e l y , y o u c a n r e a d a b o u t w h a t h a p p e n e d a n d h e r l a t - e s t c o m p e t i t i o n s o n h e r b l o g , A Strong Woman Stephanie Pio — teacher, powerlifter, bodybuilder — demands her space BY ED SIBBY Stephanie Pio teaches government at Palomar High School in Chula Vista. 16 Perspectives M E M B E R S P O T L I G H T

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