My name is Gregg Baumgarten, I am now retired from 34 years in K-12 education and find myself looking for new adventures and challenges. My experience in education revolves around kids with disabilities and has included the role of Adapted Physical Education Teacher, Special Education Classroom Teacher, Coach, Athletic Administrator, Special Education Administrator and Building Principal. During that time span I was a participant in, a founder of and/or a witness to many outstanding events that have all contributed to the development of my perspective on the world. My most recent passions are focused on my role as the National Chairman of Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports USA, the oldest disabled sports organization in the United States. WASUSA has been dedicated to providing sports and recreation opportunities to athletes with physical disabilities since 1956. By creating this blog, my desire is to educate all on the amazing abilities and athleticism displayed every day by individuals with disabilities and to introduce you to some pretty incredible people. I also hope to provide a forum/resource for people to learn more about participating, volunteering, coaching or supporting programs for athletes with disabilities. And finally I also want to share some of my adventures in retirement with you. This journal serves as a window into this world!
Born and raised in Wisconsin, I migrated to Arizona in 1978 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in search of employment. With no prospects for work in Wisconsin, I bought a backpack and sleeping bag and set out to hitchhike across the USA to visit my brother, who was attending school at Arizona State University on a football scholarship. Once here I found a teaching job and have remained in the East Valley of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area for the last 34 years. During that time frame I attended graduate school at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. I also founded Arizona Disabled Sports, a non-profit dedicated to providing sports and recreation opportunities to individuals with disabilities. I ended my career in education as a school principal in the Mesa Public School District. Recently I was elected as the National Chairman of Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports USA, a member organization of the United States Olympic Committee. I have been involved with and committed to WASUSA for over 25 years. The purpose of this blog is to provide a platform for educating the public with regards to the activities and events of an outstanding organization, highlighting the inspiring participants, parents and volunteers that make up this organization and providing insights into the role played by sports and recreation in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. For more information on Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports USA and sports for the disabled, go to www.wasusa.org or “like” us on Facebook at Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports USA.
Also, a disclaimer is in order…..I am not a programmer or webmaster so I am learning as I go. Please pardon the twisted navigational logic of this site, the dead links, crazy navigation, etc. Hang with me…..I will get it eventually. And I think it will be a fun adventure for all! Also, if you have suggestions, people who should be recognized, outstanding organizations, or questions in general, please complete the form below and send it my way. Thanks!