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Mastic Beach: William Floyd gym teacher earns phys ed teacher of the year award

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A William Floyd High School gym teacher’s passion for working with students with disabilities has been recognized by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NYS AHPERD).

Nicole Alesi, a Special Olympics coach and the head coach of the school’s unified basketball team, will be honored during an awards dinner in January with NYS AHPERD’s Suffolk Zone Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.

“It is an honor to be recognized as the Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year,” said Alesi, who uses technology through Nintendo Wii Sports to help students engage in healthier fitness and teaches movement through dance and fitness via the interactive Promethean board.

“As someone who has volunteered for the Special Olympics and worked in special education in some capacity for almost a decade, being nominated for this award is a tremendous compliment,” added Alesi, who has taught physical education and adapted physical education at the high school.

Alesi has chaperoned Special Olympics dances and bike-a-thons, and created captivating virtual activities during the pandemic to help continue engaging with her students remotely.

“Nicole’s passion for working with students with disabilities has an infectious impact on the culture and behavior of her classes,” said Joanne Hamilton, chair of the Suffolk Zone Professional Awards Committee.

Alesi is scheduled to be honored by NYS APHERD at the Suffolk Awards dinner in January at the West Sayville Country Club.