2014 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Adapted Physical Education Teacher
Nassau BOCES Carman Road School
Carrie Siff began her career as an adapted physical education teacher in 1983 at United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Queens. There she sewed the seeds of the remarkable educator she would become by working with colleagues to develop their own, unique curriculum that introduced the student population to team sports for the first time, in a gym class that closely resembled that of mainstream physical education.
From UCP, Siff moved to Carman Road School, where she brought her groundbreaking curriculum with her, teaching individual component skills through specific sports units. She soon expanded the curriculum to include unconventional and engaging units, such as yoga and relaxation, nok-hockey, summer and winter Olympics, obstacle courses, circus acts and street games. Each unit includes essential elements to improve gross and fine motor skills, increase attention and encourage participation.
Siff was instrumental in Carman Road School's participation in the New York State Games for The Physically Challenged. For many years, Carman Road has had the largest amount of athletes from any school in New York State. Outside of the classroom Siff is engaged in myriad school activities including: coaching the Hot Shots and Cool Shots wheelchair basketball teams, as well as the Slap Shots ambulatory floor hockey team, the cheerleading squad, the color guard marching band, the dance and music program, the boys and girls clubs and community club field day, PTA volunteer program coordinator, and the Holiday Staff Challenge.
"Two words automatically come to my mind as I reflect on Carrie Siff's teaching career -- 'above' and 'beyond,'" wrote her award nominator. "She has devoted her heart and soul to the Nassau BOCES Carman Road School students for more than 24 years, and has impacted and touched the lives of everyone at the school. There is not one student, staff member, administrator or parent that is not thankful for all the wonderful things Carrie has done. It has been an amazing adventure working side by side with such an outstanding and dedicated educator."