Health, physical education, recreation and dance annual conference a success

Over 500 physical education and health education teachers, as well as dance educators and recreation personnel participated in over 80 conference sessions and workshops earlier this month at the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) Seventieth Annual Conference in Rockport. Sessions focused on best practices and innovative ideas, proficiency-based education, assessment and more. Click here to access session materials available on the Maine AHPERD website.

University of Maine physical education students engaging in PE a session
University of Maine physical education students engaging in a PE session

Highlights of the conference included keynote speaker Tony Loomis, SHAPE America’s Physical Education Teacher of the Year who inspired us with his enthusiasm, passion and key research points. All-conference speaker Dr. Darla Castelli, a Maine native and past-MAHPERD president joined us from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Castelli is one of the leading national researchers on the connection of physical activity and its impact on cognition. The conference also hosted the SHAPE America president, Steve Jefferies and the National Health Education Teacher of the Year, Amy Prior, who presented two sessions, one on effective health education practices and one on integrating technology into the health education classroom.

MAHPERD was pleased to honor a number of individuals for their worthy accomplishments and contributions to their professions. Nicolas Lyons, Durham Community School, was honored as the Maine Teacher of the Year for Elementary School Physical Education and Michele Higgins, Westbrook Middle School, is the Maine Teacher of the Year for Middle School Physical Education. Eight students representing six universities around the state were honored as Outstanding Future Professionals. They were nominated by their professors for their exemplary qualities in preparing to enter their respective fields of health education and physical education. Anne Payne and Kelsey Churchill, University of Maine at Presque Isle; Annie Fougere, St. Joseph’s College; Suzanne Driscoll, University of Maine; Kayla McGee, University of Maine at Farmington; Sara Pelkey, University of New England; and Cameron Archer and Stephanie Adamczyk, Husson University. MAHPERD Honor Awards also went to Kathy Sutton, Paula Hodgdon and Gary Spinney.

The American Heart Association joined Maine AHPERD in presenting Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart Coordinators of the Year Awards to Kathy Calo, Wells Elementary School; Sharon Thompson, Vivian E. Hussey School; Andy Plaisted, George B. Weatherbee School and Adam Newell, Warren Community School. Last year Jump Rope and Hoops for Hearts programs throughout Maine schools raised $459,000.

For more information regarding MAHPERD feel free to contact either susan.berry@maine.gov or jean.zimmerman@maine.gov.