Coach passionate about working with special needs kids

HARLINGEN — He’s coached football.

He’s been a Title One director.

Now, Fred Cavazos is an adaptive physical education coach for the Harlingen school district, working with students who have special needs.

“I’ve always had a passion for working with special needs students,” Cavazos said. “When an opportunity opened I couldn’t pass it up.”

The school district has two adaptive P.E. coaches and several Special Olympics coaches. Adaptive P.E. coaches must obtain a TExES certification (Texas Examination of Educational Standards), plus an EC-12 certification in special education.

The Texas Educator Certification website says TExES tests are designed to measure a candidate’s knowledge in relation to an established criterion.

Cavazos said as an adaptive P.E. coach, he and Ozzie Ochoa, the district’s other adaptive coach, work with students in the life skills program. They work on a student’s upper and lower body strength and coordination. He and Ochoa work closely with the district’s Special Olympics coaches to prepare them for competition.

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