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SDUSD High School Teacher of the Year

KUSI News story about Ms.Fabian

High School Teacher of the Year

Deirdre Fabian
Morse High School
Grade 9-12 Adapted Physical Education

Putting students first has been Deirdre Fabian’s personal teaching philosophy for 29 years. She believes education should revolve around the “whole” student.  She strives to create a teaching environment that allows all students to grow physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. All students are unique and deserve an education that inspires them to be the best they can be. She is an energetic, hands-on teacher who likes to make learning fun with her innovative “just do it” and ‘let’s try it” attitude.

Her teaching career began in 1989 in a rural North Carolina district that was just introducing physical education to its elementary school. Under the guidance of two of the “best” master teachers, Deidre fell in love with teaching. She found another ‘love’ during her second-year teaching:  Special Olympics. She was part of the Special Olympics program in North Carolina for nine years. Her association with this outstanding organization continues today. She currently serves as the Special Olympics liaison for San Diego Unified.

Deidre’s love of teaching physical education transformed into a love of teaching physical education to students with disabilities. Here she found her real passion. She received her Adaptive Physical Education (APE) authorization in 2017 and secured a position at Morse High School. She has been instrumental in establishing the district’s first Unified Physical Education at Morse High School. Unified PE is a class with 50% students with disabilities and 50% general education students. The students pair up, learn and inspire one another. They learn that everyone is different and everyone is equal. Due to its success, Unified PE is slated to expand across the district.



“Since Ms. Fabian has been at Morse High School, she has been instrumental in helping Morse become a more inclusive campus,” wrote Morse High Principal Cynthia Larkin in a letter of recommendation. “She brought Unified PE to Morse. What is special and unique about this course is that Morse’s general education students choose to be in this course to support our students with moderate to severe disabilities. The class has created a greater sense of awareness, tolerance and inclusivity.”

Deirdre received her B.A. in Physical Education from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and a California Single Subject Teaching Credential. She earned her MS in the Art of Teaching from National University. 

Congratulations, Deirdre Fabian, on being selected the 2020 San Diego Unified Teacher of the Year at the High School Level.