Meet a New Teacher

Deborah Newkirk, Physical Education & Coach


Q: Describe yourself in three words.

A: Enthusiastic, creative, positive.

Q: What inspired you to teach?

A: Teaching has always been natural. Maybe it has something to do with being the firstborn. I have always found so much joy in sharing what has helped me. Helping someone find success is the best feeling –– this is what has always inspired me. I hosted my first track meet in 5th grade; I built the stands, put fliers on doors, raked leaves to be the high-jump pit, and cut the string for the finish was written in the stars!

Q: Why PE and coaching?

A: The love of sport quickly turned into the love for science and how it relates to body mechanics. PLAY is the best at any age –– but to share and help instill the love for play in children may be the most rewarding feeling of all. I also love to compete. Teaching enthusiasm for sport and play by building confidence in young people is my ultimate goal as a Physical Educator.

Q: Why Trinity?

A: Trinity Episcopal School is the jackpot! While teaching at the Episcopal School of Dallas in the early 2000s, I had learned about “the best school to teach at if you move to Austin” –– along with building some early on relationships with the Tornado staff through summer camps, I quickly saw the value and beautiful formula in motion. It is an honor to be part of a place I have respected from the outside looking in.

Q: What are you most looking forward to for the next school year?

A: Relationships! I am so excited to be part of a team –– and not just any team, but a driven team that holds one another true to a purpose. I am so happy to be part of a family. I’m excited to share and learn, meet all walks of life, and contribute. I look forward to teaching, coaching, leading, following, and most of all, encouraging and supporting. This new chapter will be amazing, as I am joining a well-oiled and loving machine that puts children first! What a blessing! I’m so excited!

Q: What do you feel is the biggest challenge young children face today?

A: Being a “Coach” has a huge responsibility attached to the role. Reinforcing lessons from home, like how to speak kindly to one another, how to calmly find solutions, how to deal with an unsuccessful attempt is delicate and so very important. Embracing self-expression, supporting the learning process, listening to each child, setting children up for success, and much, much more is how we can approach all challenges in a safe and beautiful space.

Q: How do you motivate your students?

A: Make it fun! The fun factor must be considered when I am preparing lesson plans and practice plans. The art of blending fun with a highly objective-driven plan is always the goal. Children are motivated when supported in their efforts, and they buy into the message and process. Add music, fast and furious activities, connect on their level with what’s important to their growth –– these are all key parts to an effective lesson –– a lesson they will remember. I do my best to motivate by showing a system that allows for immediate success...they’ll do the rest!

Q: What is the last movie or TV show you watched?

A: Mandalorian was the last series I watched and could totally appreciate! I still love the old Westerns, and the modernized “Western” vibe of this show had me from the soundtrack!

Q: What do you love doing in your spare time?

A: Fishing! I fly fish, travel, camp, kayak, read, experiment with cooking, and bike. I also walk every day, slow down and breathe, and enjoy nature. I actually, after all these years, still enjoy planning my lesson plans and getting ready for my week!

Q: What is your favorite Austin landmark?

A: Lady Bird Johnson Lake –– Kayaking, fishing, biking, walking, jogging, –– and breathing in Austin!