Banneker Elementary School PE Teacher Carri King was selected by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the Chiefs as the Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion for the October 2, 2017, game against the Washington Redskins. She conducted the ceremonial first pass to Tony Adams and was recognized on the field prior to kickoff.
In her role as a PE teacher for the Kansas City Public School District, King works hard to ensure the health and wellness of students by promoting and advancing the NFL's Play60 program, which encourages kids to be active for 60 minutes per day.
"Recognition is always great," said King, who is in her 28th year at Banneker and her 34th year as a PE teacher. "It makes me feel like all of the hard work is worth it."
In addition to instilling healthy habits in her own students, King also works with other PE teachers and coaches throughout the district to encourage and incorporate Play 60 programming. Each year she organizes the KC Public School Professional Development Day and leads Play 60 training sessions for all PE educators. She also assists the district coaches with both the Fuel Up to Play 60 and Play 60 Challenge programs.
At Banneker, King has established both before- and after-school initiatives—such as the Marathon Kids running club—which promote healthy habits, and also gets creative during her regular class periods. Throughout the year, her students enjoy activities such as smoothie taste-tests and field trips to the sports lab at Arrowhead Stadium.
"I give back to the community because I want it to be better," said King, whose mother also taught PE in the KC district. "I grew up in KCMO public school system and am proud of it. I love what I do and love to encourage students to be successful."
For King, the most rewarding aspect of her job is seeing how time at Banneker significantly impacts a student's future.
"One student told me she went to college because of a field trip we took to a Double Dutch tournament and the MAIA Basketball Tournament," said King. "The biggest opportunity students from Kansas City have is that they can be anything they want to be. No goal is too high. So I tell them to strive to be the best that they can be." To nominate a local hero like Carri King to be recognized as a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion, visit chiefs.com/bluekc.