Arizona Coyotes May 2022 Teacher of the Month

Future GoalsTM Program

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Arizona Coyotes May 2022 Teacher of the Month


Courtney Gallegos


Keller Elementary School

Classroom Team:

Tell us about yourself!

Though I was born and raised in CA, I am a proud Arizona State University graduate and have been in AZ full time for 11 years. My husband, daughter, and I are big valley sports fans, including the Arizona Coyotes. As a new mom, I am busy balancing mom life and teacher life but in the little spare time I have between those two, I enjoy reading, watching/attending sporting events, playing board and card games, and traveling. I’ve been a 6th grade teacher (all subjects) at Keller Elementary in Mesa for the past 10 years. I became a teacher after finding joy in supporting my little brother’s special education class throughout elementary school. I originally planned to be a special education teacher but found my true passion as a general education teacher in an inclusive practices school. I get to use my special ed skills to support all of my students individually. I also love what I do above and beyond my daily classroom responsibilities. I’ve started up extracurriculars such as Drama Club and run many of our special programs during the year- Science Camp, Science Fair, and Spelling Bee to name a few. I also am truly proud of my focus on social emotional learning in my classroom. We have daily community time and focus all year long on building relationships, learning empathy and other social skills, connecting to read aloud stories, and doing collaborative activities as a class.

Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?

My favorite NHL player is Oliver Ekman-Larsson (I was SO sad when he left the Coyotes a couple years back). I love that he leads as an example- specifically by spearheading philanthropy off the ice as well as supporting and encouraging his teammates on the ice. I try to do the same in my leadership.

What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?

My favorite part is that Future Goals anchors what we learn in STEM at school in a practical, real-world setting. It helps to remind kids that what we learn isn’t just something in a textbook or to prepare for an end of year test, but rather a real-life skill applicable in many settings, sports included! STEM is what hockey relies- from the math statistics the back office runs to maximize team efficiency or select new draft players to the actually science behind the movements on ice. STEM is just a critical layer to all fields of work in today’s society- sports like hockey are no different.

If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?

If I were to play hockey, I would be a goalie. I think goalies can truly be the backbone of a hockey team- a solid foundation player that the team works from and is supported by. (Not to mention, I can’t ice skate, so the team wouldn’t want me anywhere else.)