ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — “Let’s juice it up!”
That is the favorite rallying cry from Cory and Chantella Moore, the brother and sister physical education teachers at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg.
When students hear the cry, they know it is time to fire up their energy, effort and positive attitude for sibling educators that are being named Monday as the best in the state at the SHAPE Florida ceremony in Orlando.
Cory is also the Lakewood football coach. He and Chantella are decorated Lakewood alums who focus together on getting students to reaching the next level.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” says Chantella. “I love my kids. All my kids.”
“This is family,” says Cory.
Family is key for the Moores. Their mother the first female principal at Osceola Fundamental. Many of their current students are the children of people with whom they went to Lakewood.
“I know if I have to get on somebody,” smiles Cory, “I have backup at home.”
The Moores don’t just know all of their students’ names, they know their stories, as well.
They are no pushovers.
If you swear around the siblings or fail to wear a belt with your pants, you have to do push-ups or sit-ups. That is the rule.
But fellow Lakewood coach Tracy Teartt knows firsthand the genuine love and concern the Moores have for their kids.
Not too long ago, he was one of their students. Teartt lived in a house disrupted by drugs.
“They were with me through the thick and the thin,” Teartt says of his younger days. “They fed me. They let me sleep on their couch.”
When it came time for him to become a teacher too, Cory and Chantella helped him get there.
“And for that,” says Teartt, “I thank them.”