Teacher Tribute: Austin Elementary PE instructor helps kids on, off court


ABILENE, Texas - The 2013-2014 school year marks Kimberly Fernandez's second year teaching physical education at Austin Elementary. Though she's only just starting her education career, Fernandez has already been chosen as a Teacher Tribute award recipient.

Fernandez said she strives to help her students learn good hand-eye coordination at a young age; however, she also teaches them basic skills they can further develop in their middle and high school sports careers.

Her students told KTXS that Fernandez takes her teaching responsibilities a step further and also serves as an emotional support system when they're feeling lonely or down.

"She's always there for me," said Jaklyn Williams, the student who nominated Fernandez for the Teacher Tribute award. "[She's] like a sister to me and I really enjoy that she is teaching here because she's always like helping kids and me. She's always helping me smile too."

Fernandez said her passion for physical education originated from the positive role models she had as PE teachers and coaches during her younger years at Abilene High School. She said she is honored to see that she has now become that type of role model for the younger generation.

"You only see them 25 minutes a day and so just knowing that we've impact lives just in the 25 minutes that we see them, you know, is tremendous," Fernandez said.

If you would like to nominate a teacher for the award, click here or pick up an application at your school's front office.