Congratulations, Margaret Agnew

SilverSneakers is pleased to announce Colorado resident, Margaret Agnew, as the national winner of the 2018 Instructor of the Year Award. Margaret was selected from more than 600 instructors nominated from across the nation.

The Instructor of the Year award honors SilverSneakers and FLEX instructors who put so much love and effort into making their classes a great experience, encouraging members that their best years are now, and demonstrating what loving life more means. The winner and finalists were selected based on who inspires their members to live their best lives, who receives the most nominations, and who is up-to-date with certifications and credentials.

With more than 34 years of experience as an instructor, Margaret teaches nine different SilverSneakers classes at Apex Community Recreation Center. As a SilverSneakers member herself, Margaret uniquely understands the needs and motivations of her class members, inspiring them to live their best life. Margaret is a firm believer that knowledge is power, and knows that exercise is the one thing members can do to stay physically and mentally strong.

Congratulations to our finalists

Richelle Ginn
Hillard, Ohio
Hilliard Ray Patch YMCA

Full of energy, Richelle Ginn’s positive attitude, bright smile and spunky music gets people moving. Richelle’s approach to fitness makes exercising fun and engaging for her members, and keeps them coming back to fill up each class she teaches. Richelle was inspired to be a SilverSneakers instructor after caring for her grandmother and realizing how fulfilling it was to help others. Richelle goes above and beyond to ensure her members are healthy – both physically and emotionally – planning extra activities or trips for them to attend, as well as sharing details of upcoming health fairs or events. Her presence brightens everyone’s day and she is dedicated to making sure that they never feel alone in the journey to reaching their fitness goals.

Mary Ester Lungren
Fishers, Ind.
Fishers YMCA

For more than 11 years, Mary Esther Lungren has enthusiastically been greeting SilverSneakers members at Fishers YMCA with a warm hug and encouraging smile. Whether members are attending her class for the first time, or have been exercising with her for years, her charisma and dedication to the program and her class members is clear. Mary Ester always takes the time to learn each member’s name in their first class, changes the routine each month to keep things interesting, and thoroughly walks people through each exercise. Mary Ester teaches to share her love, passion and enthusiasm for improving her fellow senior members’ health, fitness and lifestyles, so that each member can take care of their needs and be independent. An inspiration to her members, and a role model to other instructors, she actively uses her own health as an example, proving you can be strong and healthy at any age.

Kris Krause
Le Sueur, Minn.
La Sueur Community Center

For nearly a decade, Kris Krause has been dedicated to helping people move more and live an active lifestyle. Leaving her corporate job to help others through fitness, Kris has created a fitness family that supports and encourages each other daily. Kris is a highly compassionate instructor, with a deep understanding of the physical challenges her members may be facing, as she often battles the joint pain associated with her rheumatoid arthritis. However, that doesn’t stop her from teaching 10 classes with 30-45 members in each class, proving to her members that you can still enjoy the benefits of exercise regardless of any physical limitations. Kris’ empathy combined with her positivity, creates an inclusive and encouraging environment where members feel connected.

Mary Sullivan
Bolivar, Mo.
Roy Blunt YMCA

Mary Sullivan truly embodies the spirit of SilverSneakers, encouraging her members live their best lives. More than an exercise class, the members have become family thanks to Mary’s warm and welcoming environment. Her members have seen incredible results and have continued to keep going because of her support. Beginning her journey as a personal trainer, Mary was asked to take on a SilverSneakers class and became certified. She quickly grew the membership from three members, to more than 200 members total in three different classes. Full of energy, Mary’s upbeat attitude motivates her members to give it their all each time they enter her class. Mary loves her role and enjoys hearing the success stories of her class members and the real impact exercise has on their lives.