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TOY Spotlight: Kassie Alexander, McAuliffe

Originally posted February 14, 2018

Physical education teacher Kassie Alexander has been named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the year for McAuliffe Elementary School.

Alexander decided to become a teacher when she was attending college.

“I have always had a passion for health and fitness, but I was unsure of which direction to take my passion. I decided on teaching physical education because I felt the best way to make an impact would be through teaching children the value of living a healthy lifestyle,” Alexander said.

Being named Teacher of the Year is one of the highest honors a teacher can receive at Union. The District Teacher of the Year will be announced during a formal reception in at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 28, at the Union Performing Arts Center at Union High School, 6636 S. Mingo Road.  See List of Site Teachers of the Year 

Students have different abilities mentally and physically. She modifies her lessons to give every student the opportunity to feel successful.

“When teaching a game or activity, I explain verbally as well as demonstrate the skills to assist visual learners. Before beginning an activity, the whole class participates in a group demonstration to ensure that all students have a chance to practice and be prepared. My goal is for my students to understand that any improvement in a skill no matter how big or small is significant to the learning process,” Alexander said.

She strives to build relationships with students so they will remember gym not only as the place where they “played fun games,” but also as the place where they developed the skills necessary to deal with life’s many joys and disappointments.

“I hope my students remember me as a positive influence on their life. I hope my students remember what I have taught them about standing up for yourself and standing up for what is right. I hope they leave my classroom knowing how to overcome adversity and how to deal with success in a positive manner. I hope they learn how to win and lose with grace. I hope they take away an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle,” Alexander said.

She began teaching at Union Public Schools in December 2012. “I started my career as a teacher’s aide in a second grade classroom for a semester, and the following year was hired as the PE teacher. Through the years, I have fallen in love with McAuliffe and I could not imagine teaching anywhere else,” she said, something she hopes to do for the foreseeable future.

Alexander graduated from Northeastern State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education.