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Originally published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 02:29p.m.

COTTONWOOD – With two years under his belt at Mingus Union High School, freshman physical education teacher Dave Moncibaez can thank his father for his career choice.

“I saw the impact he was making on his students and the athletes that he had coached,” Moncibaez said. “He has and still is influencing so many of us here in the Verde Valley.”

Moncibaez is one of seven teachers in his immediate family, six of whom teach in either Cottonwood or Clarkdale.

Including close relatives, there are 19 in his family who teach, have taught or have been part of the Verde Valley’s educational system.

Though fairly new to Mingus Union, Moncibaez has “already made a positive impact,” said Genie Gee, the school’s principal and the district’s acting superintendent.

“Mr. Moncibaez works hard to demonstrate not only physical health to our youngest students but also strong character and good decision-making,” Gee said.

“Dave is a trusted leader in the PE department and will often reach out to his team to plan best approaches to meeting the needs of students. Our freshman are fortunate to have Mr. Moncibaez as a PE teacher and a guide through the first year of high school.”

Verde Valley Newspapers: What do you like most about teaching?

Dave Moncibaez: “Seeing the students be fully engaged in activities, learning, having a good time, and getting exercise at the same time.”

VVN: Tell us about your teaching style.

Moncibaez: “The teaching styles that I like to use are the command and practice style. With the command style, the teacher will give a demonstration of the expected performance, as well as emphasize and explain specific important points of the movement.

“As for the practice style, which is similar to the command style, the demonstration does not necessarily have to come from the teacher; it may come from another student or even from audiovisual aids. The students then practice the skill, either on their own or with a group.”

VVN: Tell us something notable about your career.

Moncibaez: “In 1994-1995, I played in a state championship basketball game here at Mingus. Most recently was region coach of the year and conference coach of the year and took a 2A team to three final fours and one state championship game in high school girls basketball.”

VVN: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Moncibaez: “I am a John Wooden guy, and his quote, “failure to prepare is preparing to fail” has stuck with me for years.

VVN: If you were not a teacher, then what would you want to do?

Moncibaez: “Physical fitness and physical education are a big aspect in my life. But if I was not a physical education teacher, I would like to be involved in physical therapy for athletes.”

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