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A combination of passions gives student her dream


woman standing in stadium

Chelsey Sands at Pat's Run.

May 04, 2018

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2018 commencement

Chelsey Sands taught special education for five years in Tucson. An active and healthy lifestyle has always been important to Sands, so it made sense to combine her two passions, and she returned to Arizona State Univesrity to pursue a master's degree in physical education.

Sands heard about adapted physical education — an adapted or modified form of P.E. that is appropriate for a student with a disability — and found a mentor in a school district in Tempe. Sands now works at that same district with her mentor and says she feels fulfilled.

“It’s a perfect fit for me," she said. "I feel like this is a great avenue to inspire students to have healthy habits and live a healthy lifestyle.”

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in? (Might be while you were at ASU or earlier.)

Answer: I worked as a special dducation teacher for five years. I am now combining my two main passions of special education and physical education as an adapted PE teacher.

woman hiking

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: I learned the importance of staying positive and focused on accomplishing your goals when working with negative adults and colleagues.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: ASU had my program of choice in a location I wanted to move to and live in.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Balance is key; make sure to prioritize time for studying as well as eating healthy, exercising, social time and hobbies.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: The student recreation center. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I plan to teach adapted physical education in Tempe, Arizona.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: Curing cancer.

Written by Trista Sobeck

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