Member Spotlight

The goal of our "Member Spotlight" Feature is to showcase members that are making a difference and to share how they have benefitted by being an ASAHPERD member. 

 Know a deserving colleague? Nominate them today!

February 2024 Spotlight

Brittany Thomas

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
6 years

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I love how ASAHPERD is a community of teacher leaders willing to advocate for their specialty.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
I am inspired daily by my students and their passion for PE. I love creating new and exciting experiences for them.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
ASAHPERD has given me access to a multitude of resources that have helped me be successful as a PE teacher. Personally, it feels rewarding to be a part of a community that is making a difference in the lives of children.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
Being a specialty area teacher can often feel isolating because PE teachers are frequently the only ones at their school; I would recommend membership to all PE teachers and join the community of passionate physical educators in Alabama.

 January 2024 Spotlight

Mike Evans

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
15 years

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I decided to join ASAHPERD because I went to a Fall conference. I soon realized I was a member of so much more. I have been able to gain so much information from leaders in the Physical Education field. This has allowed me to be a better teacher.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
I went back to school when I was 35 years old so my wife and two children were a big inspiration to me and giving me the encouragement I needed to be successful. My dad was a Physical Education teacher for 25 years at Brookwood High School in Tuscaloosa County. He was the baseball coach and coached other sports in his tenure. What inspired me the most about my dad was he always gave his best as a PE teacher and as a coach.His lesson plans were always so detailed and organized. He taught me to always be highly organized and to have a plan.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
Being a member of ASAHPERD has been a very positive experience for me personally and every year I am challenged professionally to strive to do better for my students.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
I would like to recommend ASAHPERD membership to others because it provides a support base for our profession. ASAHPERD is an advocate for Physical Education teachers and will always stand up for us. They always provide innovative ideas and games from professional presenters.

November 2023 Spotlight

Nan Chesser

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
10 Years

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I originally joined to attend a Fall conference. I was so encouraged by what I learned and the people that were involved in the organization that I decided it was an investment into my career to be a part of ASAHPERD. PROVERBS 27:7 Says, "As Iron sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another", I truly believe that I am sharpened as an individual and a teacher by being involved. I want to be the best I can be and to do that I need to be around the best in my profession. That is what I have found as I have been a member of ASAHPERD.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
It has been teachers that I have seen go above and beyond for their students each and every year. Coach Carrie Beech who teaches at Spanish Fort Elementary, Coach Emily Pharez who is retired but still has a huge impact as a substitute teacher in our county, and Linda Hatchett who is retired also and taught in Mobile for years has been a huge inspiration to me as she walked me through implementing HEAL in my curriculum. These are just a few names. I can add so many more around our county and the state that pours their heart and soul into their profession and children daily.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
I feel like ASAHPERD has preserved our profession and works tirelessly to make sure that the politicians and others around the State and country know how important our profession is for the health and education of children. Their Advocacy efforts go unseen by most but has made a tremendous impact on policies that impact our profession. Personally it has impacted me by making me a better teacher through accountability and fresh new ideas for the classes I teach.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
Yes, It is a great way to meet new people, learn fresh new ideas and make an impact that goes farther than just your sphere of influence.

October 2023 Spotlight

Lindsey McCarthy

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
12 years

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I joined so I could attend the conferences when I was in college.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
The success from so many PE professionals makes me strive to do better each day. I had a great mentor teacher when I completed my student teaching. Linda Hatchett had an amazing program at her elementary school. She shared all her wealth and knowledge of the program she created and I was able to run with it!

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
Without ASAHPERD I wouldn't be able to attend the annual conferences. I consider the conferences not only fun but educational. I am able to bring back the activities and games to my school and modify them to fit to our class sizes. ASAHPERD allows me to network with other professionals in my field.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
In order to become a better educator it would be important to join ASAHPERD and take advantage of all the benefits of the group.

 

 

September 2023 Spotlight

Brandi Hall

 

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
18 years

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I wanted the opportunity to attend the conferences and get as much information as I could to help improve my pe classroom.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
I get inspired every year when I walk in the door of the school with the kids. They make me want to be better and make me want to have new ideas for them to enjoy.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
It has definitely helped me by providing professional development year in and year out. Personally, the HEAL program which I guess you could say is intertwined with ASAPHERD has taught me numerous health habits and how to better my own life. I enjoy teaching those habits to children.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
It is a networking tool in itself. Besides the professional development you will leave the conferences with countless peers and gain ideas and knowledge from co-workers

August 2023 Spotlight

Alphonso Lewis

 

 

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
20+

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I joined for the CEUs, but I soon realized the professional development and networking opportunities was a good fit for me. I have been able to network with other physical educators across the state while sharing resources and information I otherwise may not have received if I wasn't a member.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
The person who has inspired me to become more proficient in my career would be my colleague Coach Sharon Smith. Her dedication to the Physical Education Program at Glen Iris has inspired me and my love for what we do. She inspired me to see physical education differently and embrace the journey I were heading on. She has been the inspiration I needed to continue growing in this profession.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
Personally I have made great connections and lifelong friendships with with professionals in my field. Creating these friendships has also grown my professional knowledge. I have had the chance to experience and learn things from these individuals that I can take back to my own school and make physical education more fun and effective.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
I would recommend a membership to ASAHPERD, because it a great opportunity to connect with like minded educators in the state and continuously grow and improve the physical education practices.

July 2023 Spotlight

Brianna Rudolph

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
I have been a member for over six years, two as a future professional and four years as a physical education teacher.

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I was introduced to ASAHPERD as an undergraduate. I saw it as an opportunity to learn from experts in the physical education field and grow as a teacher.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
Dr. Sandra Sims has been a tremendous inspiration since I attended UAB. Her passion for physical education continues to motivate me. I often think of her throughout the school year when I write lessons and try new strategies. My former superintendent, Dr. Daniel Shakespeare, is another inspiration in my career. His enthusiasm for improving students’ quality of education is contagious. His work ethic and dedication inspire me to want to be a better teacher.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
Being a member of ASAHPERD positively challenges me personally and professionally. Attending ASAPHERD conferences compels me to reflect on my “WHY”. Every time I participate, I leave feeling recharged and reminded of my calling.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
I would recommend others to become members for the three main reasons. The first reason is the vast network of exceptional professionals. The second reason is the opportunities to share and gather innovative ideas and lessons. The third reason is the access to resources, grants, companies, and business partnerships to enhance their programs.

 

June 2023 Spotlight

Emily Pharez

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
25 years ( I think)

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I signed up so I could attend the summer workshop in Columbiana and then the Fall Conference in Birmingham. That's when I realized how much I could learn and how much fun I could have at conferences! I met so many fantastic physical educators and made such great friends that I just kept coming back for more!

Who has inspired you in your career?:
I am inspired daily by my students and fellow educators. But I will have to say the one teacher that started the flame for me to be a Physical Educator was Ms. JoVeal Turner, my elementary PE Teacher. She was the one I wanted to be like, the teacher I wanted to follow.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
Through ASAHPERD I have formed some of the strongest bonds with my fellow physical educators. Through the network of educators in my own school system and throughout the state I was able to grow as an educator. Because of the knowledge shared I became a better teacher for my students.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
I would recommend membership in ASAHPERD to anyone that is in the Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance fields. We are not an island, we all need support and guidance as we navigate our way through our careers. The contacts and friends you make as a member of ASAHPERD will be the fuel that keeps you going when the going gets tough.

May 2023 Spotlight

Don Little

 

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
Not sure, but probably 15+ years.

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
Originally for the professional development opportunities, which I was unable to get anywhere else. More and more however, it became for the sharing of ideas and how to overcome problems or how better present the content and bring it alive to my students with like minded professionals.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
There are many people who have inspired me over my career, but 3 who come to mind immediately are Dr. Mark Kittleson who is currently the chair of Public Health at New York Medical College. Dr. Kittleson's interest in technology and Health Education has been the motivation for me to learn and be involved with online education. Also Ms. Jaci Eckell, my mentor with ACCESS Health Education, who has always been full of innovative ideas and techniques in the classroom. Finally, Dr. William Hey, who has been a colleague since the the late 80's.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
Professionally ASAHPERD has been a driving force in keeping me up to date with the latest trends and issues in Health Education.From a personal standpoint it has allowed me to become associated with a group of individuals who are passionate about our profession and help fuel my passion for the profession

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
Yes, without a doubt! What I have gained through ASAPHERD in both knowledge and relationships has been invaluable to me as both a professional and individual.

 

April 2023 Spotlight

Allison Gulock

 

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
About 20 Years!

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I originally joined ASAHPERD as an undergraduate student at UAB almost 20 years ago! When I first joined it was a requirement as an undergraduate student. It was a great networking opportunity to meet teachers in the field. It also gave me an opportunity to attend sessions and learn from some of the best in our field.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
I would say I was inspired by all of my professors at UAB who I gained knowledge and experience from throughout my undergraduate and graduate degrees. When starting out as a student teacher I was very fortunate to be able to work with Toni Leo at Oak Mountain High School and Allen McGowan at Oak Mountain Elementary. Both of these individual had established programs and were very well know in the profession. After working with the elementary age students I knew that that was the age that I wanted to teach. I was very blessed out of college to be able to get my first teaching job at Mt Laurel Elementary. I have been here 18 years and I am sure that I will retire from here! I was very fortunate to be able to work with my co teacher, Lisa Bagley for 17 years before she retired last year. She definitely impacted the teacher I am today bringing out my creative side and together we established a reputable PE program for our school. I also have been very fortunate to have many administrators including Dr. Bill Naugher, Angela Walker, Celita Carmichael and Tina Neighbors who throughout my career have always been very supportive of our program. My students also inspire me daily with their excitement for PE pushing me as an educator to find new activities and engaging lessons for them!

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
Without ASAHPERD our profession in the state of Alabama would not be what it is today. They are continually providing opportunities for growth in our field. Without ASAHPERD I would not be the teacher I am today. The leaders of this organization go above and beyond to provide resources for growth as a teacher and also communicating the importance and value of our profession to state and national leaders. Attending conferences each year allows me to attend sessions and gain new ideas to come back and present to my students. Personally ASAHPERD allows me to stay connected to professors and colleagues that otherwise I would not be able to see on a yearly basis. It is amazing twenty years later to see Dr. Hester along with others from UAB who had such a profound impact on my life as a college student.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
ASAHPERD is the only organization in our state that is geared towards knowledge and growth for teachers in our field. With membership you will be connected with a group of people in our state who can relate to what you do on a daily basis including class size, curriculum, etc. It is like having a support group! Through membership you will have the ability to attend conferences throughout the year where presenters are brought in from around the country to provide the newest and most innovative teaching ideas. ASAHPERD leaders advocate for our field and provide many resources throughout the school year.

 

March 2023 Spotlight

Rebecca Recke

picture of rebecca recke picking up a large pumpkin

 

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
10 plus years

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I had transferred from Mortimer Jordan High School to Bryan Elementary after 11 years of coaching softball and volleyball and teaching health. I felt like a fish out of water when I walked into the elementary gym the first day and for days to follow. I went from teaching 10th graders to kindergarteners...day and night. I needed to learn so many things. The best source was through the ASAHPERD conferences. My colleagues at Bryan Elementary were familiar with these conferences so we decided to attend together as we began to merge our ideas and develop a curriculum. The 3 of us would go to different sessions to gather all we could at conferences. It became a game changer for my confidence as an elementary teacher and as a corner stone for developing a quality program.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
My biggest inspiration in my career, especially as an elementary teacher of physical education, has been my own children, Dylan and Orion. Both of my children were in school at Bryan when I became their teacher. We would do a variety of activities in class. As children do, they would ask me why was class so boring. Why can't we do this or that? I realized that if my own children felt this, what were the other children feeling. So, my own children taught me way before National Boards to gather feedback. One of the most impactful events my school does is the Family Fun Run. This will be our 17th year. It grew from 50 people at the first event to over 1200 as of last year. This event was started as my own children said, "Mom why can't we have our own race so our friends can come". My kids are grown now; my inspiration is my current "school" children.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
ASAHPERD membership has increased my self confidence personally and professionally. I really cannot separate the two. My professional self is intertwined with my personal self. They are one in the same. I have had the pleasure and absolute delight in getting to present at conferences throughout the years. I felt vulnerable presenting something from my program; however, my colleagues were very receptive. In every session I presented, there was always a time to interact and receive compliments and questions and ways to learn from others who had done similar activities. Professionally, it gave me confidence that I was perhaps a quality teacher...that perhaps I was making a difference...perhaps I had initiated and developed a program that would be worthy of being imitated...perhaps I was on my way to leaving a "legacy".

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
I would most certainly recommend membership to others. When I was in college at Troy State University, we were told to join our professional organization. I really didn't understand the importance except to receive PD hours. When I became a teacher with my own students and program, I found that I needed to learn from other teachers in my field. I needed to hear from teachers who had experience. I needed to become aware that there are multiple ways to teach the state curriculum. I needed to realize that I was not the only teacher that had obstacles in organization of 120 students in 40 minutes. Membership in this organization provides knowledge way beyond what can be received from a textbook or a website. Attending the conferences are a no brainer. There is an exchange of ideas and modifications so that everyone takes away valuable information. To have a quality program...to take pride in what we do in the gym...we have to be continuous learners...adapting to our own environment on a daily basis.


 

February 2023 Spotlight 

Melissa Hubauer

How long have you been a member of ASAHPERD?:
12 years

Why did you decide to join ASAHPERD?:
I decided to join ASAHPERD to further my professional career in the beginning. I had many professors and new colleagues who advised me to join. As a new teacher, ASAHPERD helped me become more acclimated to the profession and connected me with the right personnel to navigate me through those tough first few years. Now being a veteran teacher, I see even greater benefits to being a member. The conference is one thing I look forward to out of all the professional development events in the school year. I love the professional learning community that ASAHPERD represents and encourages; therefore I renew my membership each year.

Who has inspired you in your career?:
Through my eleven years of teaching physical education, I have encountered many wonderful educators, colleagues, and friends. To say only one person has inspired me would be completely false. My professional career has been inspired by so many different strengths and talents from everyone I have worked with. One person who has inspired me to be a better teacher each day is my sister Maggie Burns. Recently chosen Teacher of the Year (for the third time in her career), she always puts her responsibilities as a teacher first and foremost. She has overcome so many obstacles and still continues to thrive as one of the best teachers I know. In addition, the entire faculty and staff of Bluff Park Elementary have completely changed my outlook as a teacher. This is my second year at Bluff Park Elementary, yet I am still in awe of the educational standards every one of these teachers displays. It has rekindled my desire to become a better teacher and school leader.

What has ASAHPERD membership meant to you both personally and professionally?:
ASAHPERD membership is a special organization as it connects people on a variety of levels. It connects PE teachers to health teachers. It connects elementary teachers to secondary teachers. It connects educators to community members. It connects PE teachers to other PE teachers in the same field, area, or year of teaching. The ASAHPERD membership has made me understand that we are all in the same boat thriving for the same outcomes, and we are all here to support each other. Professionally, ASAHPERD has continued to motivate and push me in the right direction that the education system and, more specifically, the physical education realm is heading. It has kept me from becoming complacent in my teaching. Personally, ASAHPERD has kept me in the right headspace as a teacher. Teaching is hard. Teaching large class sizes with minimal time, keeping students safe but active, meeting all the standards, and keeping the energy alive within an elementary school is extremely hard. ASAHPERD has provided the encouragement to keep working harder even in the difficult days. With the support from colleagues and members, ASAHPERD has made me the PE teacher I am today.

Why would you recommend membership to others?:
I would recommend membership to others for the support and resources ASAHPERD offers each year. ASAHPERD gives support to all teachers. I felt supported as a newly graduated applicant, a new teacher and now a teacher of eleven years. I felt supported as a middle school PE teacher and an elementary school PE teacher. ASAHPERD gave me the assistance I needed during the hard days as a new teacher and the creativity contributions on those days that I felt like nothing could get in my way as a veteran teacher. ASAHPERD provides endless resources. The ASAHPERD conferences are what PE teachers look forward to each year. It provides so many wonderful opportunities to choose things I need to work on as well as enhances my program from my already established strengths. I would definitely recommend an ASAHPERD membership to all health and physical education educators.

Know a deserving colleague? Nominate them today!