"I always bring my culture into my classroom, conversations, lessons, and even sports,” said Alfredo Crossman-Chavez Jr., Athletic Director and Physical Education Teacher at KIPP Corazón Academy Upper School. “Being Afro-Latino is so amazing because I am able to explore so many different roots."
With a genuine care for all, “our students and families gravitate toward Coach Chavez’s energy. He is constantly uplifting their humanity,” stated Mario Echeverria, former Founding School Leader at KIPP Corazón.
"This individual impacts our school each and every day. It’s more than just the YouTube Lives, the Instagram streams with our students, the cooking classes with families, the run clubs, the regional mile challenges, and the sports teams, it’s also the imprint that he has on all of us. His personality is one of a kind … [this is] someone who can [help] support the growth of our collective,” stressed Mr. Echeverria when presenting a 2021 KIPPStar Teacher of the Year award1 to our mover and shaker — Coach Chavez.
When asked what it was about his work that he's especially proud of, Coach Chavez responded with: "Honestly, I am just truly honored and proud to bring opportunities to our students. They deserve the world plus more!"
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Coach Chavez's “Day in the Life” teaching physical education with a charisma that makes each lesson fun and exciting for students at KIPP Corazón Academy, a tuition-free, college-preparatory TK-8 charter public school in South Gate.
7:00 - 7:45AM — BRIGHT & EARLY FOR TRAFFIC SAFETY
I do traffic duty on Tuesdays and Fridays. I help students cross the street and also direct our parents/guardians dropping off their students safely out of the parking lot.
7:45 - 8:00AM — PROMOTING HEALTHY, ACTIVE LIFESTYLES
I prep and get ready to teach P.E. Zoom. This is where I introduce new exercises to our students, so that during our in-person P.E. class, we are able to practice them and perform them as our workout of the day.
8:00AM - 12:00PM — PHYSICAL EDUCATION
During this time is when I teach P.E. to either my 5th graders or 8th graders with a curriculum and instruction designed to develop the knowledge and behaviors for physical activity, physical fitness, and motor skills in students. I demonstrate the newest workout and also participate in the team building activities.
12:00 - 1:00PM — LUNCHING & STRATEGIZING
This is when I'm usually drinking my healthy smoothie and, at times, working at the same time on new approaches. Being the Athletic Director and P.E. teacher keeps me very busy and I love it!
1:00 - 2:00PM — GOING THE DISTANCE
Back to teaching, you can find me educating my other P.E. class. Here our 5th graders were watching one of the students perform the pacer test. Ethan ended up getting the 5th grade school record — a total of 33 laps!
2:00 - 4:00PM — RUNNING OUR SPORTS TEAM MEETINGS
As the Athletic Director, I am constantly checking in with students about their GPA, behavior, attendance, and much more. In this picture, I am going over the athletic packet with the boys & girls basketball team.
4:00 - 8:00PM — AFTER THE BELL RINGS
This is coaching time for me!!! I am the Founding Head Coach for Students Run L.A. We create a safe, supportive community to train kids to run and complete the Los Angeles Marathon. Practice is about 2-3 hours after school where we log in mileage and improve to be ready for our races.
FUN FACT: I love to cook. There are a lot of things that bring me joy but making a good meal is definitely one of them. I like cooking for others too and I love seeing their faces when the food is good.
“To bring my identity forward in the work that I do, I make sure to create lessons that teach our students about different cultures, including both the African American and Panamanian cultures," added Coach Chavez. “Recently for a Restorative Justice session, I taught students about the Panama canal and the food we eat. A dish that a student and I had in common was the delicious ceviche and it was so cool to talk about because it's made differently yet tastes so similar.” And for a dance unit, students are currently learning the well-known wobble dance.
Indeed, “Coach Chavez has provided a space for our students, families, and even team members to learn and explore what a healthy lifestyle can look like for each of us,” shared Karla Davalos, Assistant School Leader at KIPP Corazón. “He is a true example of what it means to love what you do and lead with love.”
At KIPP SoCal, Coach Chavez’s accomplishments range from starting an Athletics Department with a boys and girls basketball team and track and field, to establishing a Run-A-Thon that helped raise funds for the school, and partnering with the Los Angeles Lakers to bring their Youth Clinic to our community, plus much more! Coach Chavez creates meaningful opportunities for our families and ensures that our students continue to have access and engage in healthy lifestyle practices.
Interested in joining our Team and Family? We are seeking talented individuals committed to ensuring education is for liberation.
1. Each year, we celebrate and honor our inspiring KIPP SoCal Team & Family at the Karsh Family KIPPStar Awards, named in honor of champion supporters and education advocates Martha & Bruce Karsh. In alignment with our mission, KIPP SoCal awards Teacher and Team Member of the Year to individuals who embody the values that ground us as an organization: Lead with Love; Equity. Excellence; Strength in the Collective; Courage and Integrity; Learn and Grow.