VEGAS, Nev. - Jeff King, Navajo, was recently selected as Nevada
Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.
hometown is Shiprock. He is Kiyaa aani (Towering House), born for
Red Goat. His chai is Ta chee nii. His nali is Tangled Vines.
mother is Ms. Florence King and his father is Jimmie King Jr. His
paternal grandfather is the late Jimmie King Sr., who was one of
the Navajo Code Talkers. His maternal grandfather is the late David
Brewster, who was well-known around the Shiprock/Hogback area.
wife is Cindy Bahr-King and his two-year-old daughter is Shaadiin.
graduated from Navajo Prep (formerly Navajo Mission) and also graduated
from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor's degree in education
and a master's degree in education from Texas Tech University.
worked for the Navajo Nation as a recreation coordinator for Shiprock
Agency in the early 90s after leaving UNM. He worked as an Adapted
PE specialist for the Office of Indian Education-Crownpoint Agency
in 1996-1998. He served the BIA schools of Torreon, Ojo Encino,
Alamo, Baca, and Canoncito providing adapted physical education
to special needs children, driving 800 to 1,200 miles a week, most
of it on the freeway and on dirt roads.
taught one year at Newcomb High School and also coaching football
and basketball. He has been teaching in the Vegas valley since 1999.
He has worked at several schools, all of them year-round schools,
most recently at Marion E. Cahlan-Edison ES, which is 85 percent
Hispanic and located in North Las Vegas.
he is teaching elementary physical education at Lewis E. Rowe ES,
which has a mixture of every ethnicity worldwide. Clark County School
District is the sixth largest district in the nation. They build
11 new schools every year just to keep up with the demand. Last
year, six elementary schools, three junior highs and two high schools
were opened. That also means that CCSD has to hire 1,600 new teachers
said the school is at is very transient. Students come and go all
the time. He was selected as Nevada Elementary Physical Education
Teacher of the Year by his professional organization, the Nevada
Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
The selection was based on five criteria including teaching methods,
community service, role modeling, quality programming, and service
to the profession. There were 40 candidates across Nevada.
selected qualifies him for consideration on the district level,
which is the Southwest District of the American Alliance for Health,
Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, the leading professional
organization for his profession. If selected on the district level,
he will then be qualified for consideration at the national level.
says he is the only Navajo PE teacher in the district and might
be the only Navajo with a master's degree in Adapted PE.
Navajos that suffered the terrible wrongs of Ft. Sumner didn't endure
so that our generation could lead lives of self-destruction and
self-degradation," he said, "but rather so that we would
have opportunities and the fortitude to create better lives for
our people. It is an unyielding challenge that remains very difficult
for so many natives."