Three decades in the making, Pospisil’s Arvada West teaching career still going strong


Pospisil featured: top row, fourth from left

Pospisil has secured her place as the longest serving A-West teacher.


According to multiple articles and studies, around 44% of teachers leave teaching within the first five years of their career. Pospisil has taught at Arvada West for 28. 

“I did my student teaching here in 1994 and became an assistant volleyball coach. I subbed for a semester and then I got my job in the fall of 1995,” states Pospisil. That began a teaching career at Arvada West that has lasted almost three decades.

Upon joining the A-West staff Pospisil immediately felt a sense of community, as well as belonging. “When I walked in the doors and did my student teaching I was just in awe. It was home.” She has strived to uphold and strengthen that community ever since.

“We get new kids every year, we’ve had new administrators, there’s always change, but change comes in my surroundings versus me changing schools.” Taking a job is one thing, but sticking with it for as long as Pospisil has is something else entirely. “Arvada West is where I was meant to be” Pospisil comments. “It’s very enjoyable, I love sports, I love being engaged with high school kids.”

As a PE teacher, she is able to do all that every day.

Coach Pospisil, her illustrious career shining brightly.

However, that isn’t to say Pospisil’s just a PE teacher. In fact, as an all-around athlete, Pospisil is so much more. She loves sports with a passion: while in high school she played volleyball, basketball, and ran track. She continued on with volleyball in college, playing for two years at a small school in California called Fresno Pacific, where she won nationals. 

She then transferred to Metro University to get her degree. Now, she plays volleyball in both co-ed and recreational leagues, competing in tournaments throughout the year. It was at one of these very tournaments where she injured herself, making teaching PE a lot harder.

“I was playing in a volleyball tournament, an old ladies’ tournament where you had to be fifty or older. I had just come off of elbow surgery in April, so I hadn’t done anything in about four months. Everything was going great, I was about my fourth match in, I was running to go set a ball which was a little tight to the net, and when I jumped up to hit it over my knee popped.”

PE is an active class: PE teachers must constantly help students with drills, demonstrate certain skills, explain how to warm up correctly, participate in games; the list goes on. With an injured knee this all seemed a lot harder to manage. However, after such a long teaching career, Pospisil wasn’t going to let an injury knock her down.

“My goals and ambitions haven’t changed. I love teaching PE and I always laugh ‘cause I can’t tell you what else I would do. I’m a lifer.”

Connections, along with relationships, have really mattered to Pospisil over the years. These connections became one of the main reasons why she loves teaching.

“I tell my kids all the time that I’m just so proud of the kids and the things that they do and the travels and the accomplishments that they’ve done.”

Over the years, she has witnessed these accomplishments time and time again, but for her, it never gets old. “It’s really fun to watch that progress and growth.”

For Pospisil, it is not just watching the growth but also contributing to the growth that matters. “All of your past students really realize the effect you’ve had on them and the relationships you’ve had with them.” For her, that is really special.

Despite the important roles teachers often play in students’ lives, sometimes there is not enough appreciation or respect for teachers, both in the community and in schools. Pospisil states, “There are hard days and I agree that as a society we could definitely do a better job overall not just being respectful to teachers but to everybody.” 

However, Pospisil believes that it is not as bad, at least for her, as it is sometimes portrayed.

“I think, thankfully, that that’s a small percentage of the 150 students that I have. I think that there are maybe a handful or two handfuls of kids that maybe you don’t mesh with or they know how to push your buttons.”

Despite this, she likes to look on the positive side. “That’s like 5% of your population, so I try to focus on the fact that 95% of the kids that we’re teaching and are involved with are great kids and great contributors.”

Although as a teacher Pospisil may try to focus on those students that do the right thing, she feels that sometimes they do not get the acknowledgement/praise that they deserve.

“It’s really hard because that 5% seems to get the attention instead of focusing on these great kids and all of their accomplishments.”

Arvada West’s main gym, where Pospisil teaches a majority of her classes.

In Pospisil’s eyes, one of the most important aspects of PE class is that it acts as a safe space for many students. “Especially down here (in the gym) we have a lot of kids who love PE because this is a place where they feel comfortable.”

Making sure that the gym stays comfortable for those students is one of Pospisil’s top priorities. “We have a lot of those kids that maybe struggle in the classroom but they do a great job down here and I think that that part of it is our connection to them.”

School is hard for many, but in Pospisil’s eyes, PE class acts as a reprieve. “PE allows them to continue to grow in school and makes it a place where they can get through.” Although some students still misbehave, Pospisil focuses on those who appreciate her class. “Part of that 5%, they enjoy being down here, and it takes some of that stress off of them. This is their place.”

To some, Physical Education is not an important class. But to Pospisil, “it’s a life skill.” “Being on time, being responsible, being respectful, those are all skills that are super important.” Take it from someone who has taught the subject at Arvada West for 28 years (and counting).