Excellent Educators: Susan McAuliffe

Excellent Educators

Heritage High School teacher Susan McAuliffe was nominated as an Excellent Educator by Newport News Public Schools.

Excellent Educators is a WAVY-TV 10 initiative to celebrate local teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and communities during the coronavirus pandemic. These Excellent Educators were nominated by their school divisions. Congratulations to these educators for all of their hard work and accomplishments!

Name: Susan McAuliffe

Division: Newport News Public Schools

Position: Health and physical education teacher at Heritage High School

What the school division said about this Excellent Educator: Susan McAuliffe is a National Board Certified teacher and serves as lead teacher for adapted physical education, heading the team that serves all of our adapted PE students.  

Under McAuliffe’s guidance, the adapted PE team has provided virtual instruction since the COVID-19 closure last March, meeting federally mandated minutes of instruction for their students, even in these challenging circumstances. In addition to physical activity, McAuliffe and her team also integrate social-emotional and health-related content into their virtual instruction.  

McAuliffe collaborates with regional and national adapted PE specialists and is often a resource for other school divisions looking to enhance or implement adapted PE. Throughout this period of virtual learning, she has continued to host student observers and to mentor student teachers. 

Recently, McAuliffe received a sizeable Donors Choose grant that funds her plan to send bags of equipment to her students, which will benefit their participation in virtual instruction and allow them to have their own equipment when in-person instruction resumes, making for a safer experience. 

Since September, McAuliffe has been conducting adapted PE evaluations for all identified students.  When it became apparent that a virtual evaluation would not be sufficient, she donned her personal protective equipment and began meeting students and their parents in person. She is passionate about ensuring that any student in need of adapted PE instruction receives it. 

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