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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Adaptive PE students shine in their own outstanding ways

Aug 16, 2021 09:43AM ● By Julie Slama

Bell View kindergartner Baldo Arriaga holds his Outstanding Sportsmanship Award trophy tightly as he’s joined by Canyons School District special education program administrator Tifny Iacona, district adaptive physical education instructor Kathryn Taylor and his principal, Chanci Loran. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Shortly before Bell View kindergartner Baldo Arriaga received a trophy from Canyons School District, his principal Chanci Loran described him as “very sweet, a super hard worker and deserving of the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.”

His classmates applauded and cheered for him and celebrated by jumping on a launch pad that launched a two-foot rocket high up to the sky.

It was an indirect way of ensuring the diagnostic kindergarten students also were working toward their development skills and personal physical education goals as well as having fun, said district adaptive physical education instructor Kathryn Taylor, who works with Baldo as well as other youngsters.

“We help them with their gross motor skills such as running, galloping, jumping, hopping on one foot and with objectives like throwing, catching, kicking and dribbling,” she said. 

The Outstanding Sportsmanship Award recipients represent each elementary school that has the adapted physical education program. They follow directions, have a positive attitude and work hard on learning new skills and on their personal physical education goals, said Tifny Iacona, district special education program administrator.

“It’s important that we recognize students who have worked hard on their adaptive PE goals and with their peers, to congratulate all of them on their success,” she said.

Other school winners include Marcus Fernandez, Silver Mesa; Weston McPherson, Crescent; Isaac Kilpatrick, Alta View; Connor Jones, Granite; Logan Martinson, Willow Canyon; Natalie Van Roosendaal, Willow Springs; Saxton Snowball, Edgemont; and Ava Baird, Jordan Valley.

Traditionally, the students are recognized on the annual Sports Day, where they parade on the track as well as participate in a distance run and a sprint, an obstacle course, a parachute game, a dance-off and other activities with their classmates.

“We’ve had mascots from across the (Salt Lake) Valley, Peer Leadership Teams or studentbody officers, cheerleaders and the (school district) superintendent and Board (of Education) members come and really cheer on these kids,” Iacona said, adding that this year and last year the event was unable to be held because of the COVID-19 safety and health concerns. “It’s a fun way to celebrate these students. It’s all about the kids.”