PITT COUNTY, NC (WITN) - WITN's Teacher of the Week for December 11 is Michele Mazey, an Adapted Physical Education teacher for Pitt County Schools.
Mazey is part of a 3-team group that travels the county to service 38 schools in specialized PE.
Her students may use a wheelchair or have special abilities, be on the autism spectrum or may need assistance in their general physical education class. She teaches directly with her students, assists general physical education teachers and also provides ideas and support throughout classrooms and in the community.
Mazey was recognized this year at the June Pitt County School Board meeting as the PCS PE Teacher of the Year. She also received the ECU Health and Human Performance Outstanding Alumni award for 2019 and the Servant's Heart award from the Winterville Civitan Club.
She says the favorite part of her job is discovering the line between what a student can do and pushing them to do it.
“The look on the face of a non-verbal student who has accomplished raising his or her arms is amazing. The smile on their faces is indescribable. Discovering their abilities and pushing them to get there is so fun,” Mazey wrote.
She added, “I learn more from my students than they do from me.”
Mazey says her teaching she wants to help students develop confidence by giving them options, but ultimately letting them decide what approach is best for them to learn.
Outside of the classroom, Mazey furthers her work with those who are differently abled. She serves on the board of the ECBL (Exceptional Community Baseball League), assists in DanceAbility (exceptional dancing), CoopStrong (the fight to end ALS) and numerous other volunteer opportunities.
The person who nominated Mazey wrote: “Teacher is an understatement when describing Michele Mazey, Adapted PE Teacher for Pitt County. Michele is a leader, giver, volunteer, teacher, advocate and friend to many students, teachers and others in the community.
Michele teaches adapted PE to multiple students across several schools in Pitt County including Wintergreen Primary and Intermediate and JH Rose to name a few. She ensures the students are provided physical activity appropriate for their abilities, participates in IEP meetings for her students and educates the community on the importance of adapted PE.
She loves on the students and makes special time for each one. She believes in inclusion, individuality for each student and respect for one another. This is all shown through her leadership and hard work for her students. Michele looks at each one of her students' abilities and gives them the opportunity to engage in physical activity during the day.
Outside of work, Michele volunteers with Special Olympics, Exceptional Community Baseball League (ECBL), CoopStrong, DanceAbility, National Night to Shine, teaching swimming lessons and youth group at her local church, Oakmont Baptist Church. I have witnessed Michele give her time, love and money to students affected by storms in the area. After the hurricane, she checked on her students and took some of them food and supplies while in the shelter. She epitomizes someone who loves what they do on and off the clock.”
Congratulations, Ms. Mazey!
Every week during the school year WITN will recognize a Teacher of the Week on WITN News at Sunrise. The winner receives a plaque and $100 gift card for school supplies.