District 6 adapted physical education teacher Judy Smaic wins teacher of the year award – Greeley Tribune


An adapted physical education teacher from the Greeley-Evans School District was recently recognized by a professional organization for physical education teachers as Regional Teacher of the Year.

Judy Smaic, in her 17th year in District 6, was named Adaptive Physics Teacher of the Year for a nine-state region nominated by SHAPE America, the Society of Physical and Health Educators which represents more than 200,000 health professionals. health and physical education in the us

Judy Smaic, adapted physical education teacher in Greeley-Evans School District 6. (Photo: Dejan Smaic).

Smaic was officially honored as Teacher of the Year from the SHAPE America Central District, a region of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, North Dakota South and Wyoming.

“It is truly a great honor to receive this award,” said Smaic. “Basically it’s because of the students and families I work with and the special education community. Well done to them. It’s part of me to get the prize, and I work with some great people. Nothing is ever done alone and I firmly believe that it takes a community to educate students.

Three years ago, Smaic, who has over three decades of teaching experience, was named SHAPE Colorado Adaptive Physical Education Teacher of the Year. Smaic was nominated for the State Award by fellow District 6, Kelly Kennedy, who was SHAPE’s Central District Teacher of the Year in 2016.

Due to the state award, Smaic was then eligible to apply for the SHAPE District Honor. As part of the application process, Smaic said she needed nominations from three people and write an essay on her work.

Smaic said she wrote about teaching in District 6, where she and her adapted physical education colleagues “offer a diverse physical education program” to students. Smaic said diversity includes working with high school students in community activities, where students and staff reach out to other segments of the population.

The diversity also includes Smaic and other teachers working with students with different needs, such as autism, intellectual and physical challenges, and unified sports.

“It’s important because one of my passions is to make children love the movement and it starts when they are young,” said Smaic. “When they are older, they will be able to get involved with their peers of the same age in an inclusive setting. Movement and fitness should be fun.

SHAPE America honored teachers in six different categories: Adapted Physical Education, Dance Education, Health Education, Elementary Physical Education, Middle School Physical Education, and High School Physical Education.

Recognized with Smaic in the adapted physical education category: Eric Kohl of Rochester, New York in the Eastern District and Eileen Tirado of West Palm Beach, Florida in the Southern District.

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