Courtney Teatro coaches athletes. She meets them where they are. Then she helps them realize their potential through instruction and encouragement. Teatro teaches elementary and secondary physical education for the Mesa Public Schools in Mesa, Ariz. She also serves as the head cross country and track and field coach at Red Mountain High School. Sportsmanship is a lifestyle she shares not only with her own athletes, but with every young person she encounters. Teatro once witnessed a coach leave his last runner behind to move on and coach the runners ahead. Even though all of her runners were done, Teatro went back to coach the girl from the other team. It was important for the girl to finish the race and have support in the process. Teatro believes that any athlete can be successful if given the chance. Such is the case of a student who wanted to race but did not fit the typical athletic mold. The student had a cognitive disability and her mother was not sure she would be allowed to compete. Teatro accepted the girl and the young athlete ascended to the No. 8 position on Red Mountain’s cross country team. Teatro also has a stellar reputation that extends far beyond the track. Her conflict resolution and interpersonal skills have helped de-escalate situations among parents, athletes and coaches. A former athlete describes Teatro as “a role model, a mentor and major motivator in my life.” She credits Teatro with helping her through some very difficult moments. Although Teatro has a tremendous impact on athletes off the track, she is also a great coach on the track. She has coached multiple region and Arizona state champions. Several of her students also have gone on to earn national titles on the collegiate level, as well. Teatro motivates athletes to be better citizens, better students and better people. She is a coach in the purest sense.
Courtney Teatro is being recognized by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.