Pine Level teacher recalls sheltering with students during tornado

Known in the halls as “Coach German,” the physical education teacher has been using physical fitness and dance to help the students cope with the recent severe
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 1:50 PM CST
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PINE LEVEL, Ala. (WSFA) – Clean-up efforts continue in Pine Level after a tornado touched down in the area nearly two weeks ago.

Rae Ann German was at work that day at Pine Level Elementary School. She was in the classroom trying to comfort students.

“Even though I was worried too, I had to make sure these kids were safe. These are your children. You may have one or two, or three biological children. But, take them as your own…. you’re the guardian,” she said.

Known in the halls as “Coach German,” the physical education teacher has been using physical fitness and dance to help the students cope with the recent severe weather and tragedies. She said it’s one of the many reasons she transitioned and moved from the classroom to the gymnasium. She wanted to educate the “whole student’.”

“I was in the classroom for 17 years, taught 3rd grade, and then I made a change,” she said. “I wanted to focus on fitness because it’s an outlet for children to play or to talk it out, whatever they need.”

Coach German said she shares her passion for fitness with her family. She said her siblings are coaches too.

“It just helps us in so many ways. It helps us mentally, emotionally, and even socially,” she said, “getting outside and exercising is good for our minds and our bodies”.

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