As a 2011 graduate of CHS, physical education teacher Nawal Africano is trying to get a fresh and new start after school has gone back in-person. She is a fitness coach and a field hockey coach when she is not teaching.
How did your high school experience at CHS influence you to teach here?
I have had lots of different experiences to influence me. I had great relationships with my teachers when I went to school here and always knew I wanted to teach here. The teachers really helped me figure out what I wanted to teach. I wanted to teach at a place that I heard great things about: a school that’s well run and has a good community. I coached and went to school here, and it is such a wonderful place, so I knew I ultimately wanted to be and teach here. Since I took physical education here, I already had a great relationship with the staff and the department.
Where did you go to college? What did you study?
I went to George Mason University and I got my undergraduate degree in physical education and health. I got my masters degree in kinesiology. Kinesiology helps me know more about what I am teaching and helps me support my physical education students.
How is teaching while following COVID-19 restrictions harder to manage?
Teaching physical education has been a challenge, especially last year, but we have managed to figure it out as a physical education department and team and did what we could. We just want everyone to stay healthy and safe, and as long as we follow the mask protocols, physical education [will be] pretty normal this year.
What grades do you teach? Is there a certain type of physical education you teach?
I teach freshmen, sophomores and adapted P.E. which has all grades freshmen through seniors
What are some things that you do when you are not teaching?
I am an assistant field hockey coach at CHS. I teach fitness classes in Old Town, Alexandria. I have three dogs, and I just got married, so I like spending time with my husband.