Kraig R. Conyer, an adapted physical education teacher at Hinsdale South High School in Darien, Ill., has received the prestigious Outstanding Alumni K-12 Teacher Award from the Michigan State University College of Education Alumni Association.
He was honored for creating exciting new opportunities for students to participate in inclusive physical education programs during an Awards Reception on April 3, 2009 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. He was nominated by Gail M. Dummer, a professor of kinesiology at MSU.
Conyer has been teaching at Hinsdale South in Darien, Illinois since 2000, soon after receiving his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the MSU College of Education. One of his most significant accomplishments is the development of an award-winning Peer Partner Program, in which regular education students serve as learning partners with students who have special needs. According to one visitor, Conyer transformed what was a “self-contained and highly sheltered program for special needs students into one of inclusiveness, social dynamics and athletic activity.”
Conyer also founded the school’s Special Olympics program and has helped students develop leadership skills through the J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation and the Athletes Committed to Excellence programs. He has served as varsity baseball coach, assistant football coach and in several other coaching and mentoring positions. In 2007, Conyer was selected from over 800 Chicago-area applicants as one of 10 recipients of the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The Outstanding Alumni K-12 Teacher Award is presented annually to MSU College of Education alumni currently teaching in any school system who demonstrate evidence of service and achievement above and beyond what is expected.