TUCSON, Ariz. — An Adaptive Physical Education teacher at Canyon del Oro High School Michelle Gerard is an inspiration to her students.
That is one of the many reasons Gerard is a finalist for the University of Arizona Online Outstanding High School Faculty Award.
Gerard has been teaching in the Amphitheater School District for 24 years.
She says she wants to be there for her students.
"When I see the kids feel like they can't do something or that they're not able to do something, I try to give positive reinforcement and encouraging words to them," said Gerard. "I feel like you can do anything you put your mind to."
Gerard teaches several Physical Education classes, plus she has a passion for teaching her students with special needs.
"You have to have patience, and you have to be flexible," said Gerard. "Always adjusting my lesson plan. I could come in with a great lesson, or so I think, and they're just not feeling it that day. But that's OK. So we adjust and make modifications."
Even after 16 years at CDO, Gerard says she still enjoys everyday.
"I'm able to come and do something I love, and be challenged," said Gerard. "My students challenge me."
Gerard is one of nine finalists for the University of Arizona Online Outstanding High School Faculty Award. The winner will be announced in early March.