Every year we honor one first year Playworks program coordinator in the field. This coach steps into a school in their first year and takes not only the five components (recess, class game time, leadership development, before/after school and leagues) with excellence, but goes above and beyond to create a positive school climate for every child both in and out of the classroom. This year’s Rookie of the Year is Amanda Padilla!
Coach Amanda combines her background in Special Education with her love of coaching to create a healthy, inclusive environment for every student every day at Montezuma. Although the school has an unusually large enrollment of special needs students, stop by at recess and you’ll see a playground full of active, laughing children of all abilities actively playing wall ball and four-square, shooting hoops at the basketball court and jumping rope together. And in the middle of it all, you’ll find Amanda and a host of high-fives and “good jobs.”
“None of us should be taken away from playing something just because we have a disability or a special need,” Padilla says. “I believe that everyone has an ability to play. They just need one person to come and show them that everyone can play together.”
Rookie of the Year
Montezuma Elementary, New Mexico