2014 Central District Award Winners

Central District is very proud of the great educators we have working with our children. The passion, leadership and excellence demonstrate by our teachers is a true inspiration of our profession. Please join us in congratulating the following individuals.

MacKenzie Mushel, CO: NDA K-12 Dance Educator of the Year Award

mackenzie-mushelMacKenzie Mushel is this year's Central District Star Dance Educator! MacKenzie uses dance to promote physical activity, fitness, and healthy living among her students at Rocky Mountain High School where she teaches dance, health, and physical education. MacKenzie has worked to expand the dance offerings at Rocky Mountain, including sponsoring dance specific clubs such as Lunch Break (a breakdancing/hip-hop club), Blues/Swing, Zumba, and Integrated Dance (peer partnerships, including differently-abled peer partnerships). As Colorado's Dance Educator for 2013 MacKenzie has an impressive record of professional development, and leadership in strengthening dance education across the state.

She has presented multiple sessions at the Colorado state convention, including two half-day sessions focused on best practices to promote teaching and learning of the dance standards, using dance to increase physical activity and teaching social dance. She has also presented at Central District and is a presenter at this year's St. Louis national conference. At the state level, MacKenzie led a team of master dance educators through the process of developing curriculum, instructional units, and assessments for the new dance education standards. In 2013 MacKenzie co-founded the Dance Educators Group of Colorado, a group whose mission is to provide high quality, low-cost professional development for dance educators. MacKenzie is truly a "dancing star" and dance educator!

Shelly Hoffman, KS: Elementary Teacher of the Year

shelly-hoffmanShelly Hoffman is an innovative teacher who strives to continually better herself and her teaching. She has helped her school achieve Model School Status. She has secured four grants over the last three years totaling $19,500 to help her students. She goes over and above her required duties to help her students achieve a more active lifestyle.  She constructs new outdoor fitness stations every six weeks for recess and after school hours use. She sends home fitness bags to be used by students and their families over the weekend. She sends home a daily 5 minute fitness activity on a monthly calendar and gives her classroom teachers ideas on how to incorporate activity into their classrooms. She has infused technology into her classroom with the use of a Smartboard, Ipad, camcorder, digital camera, and an interactive dance unit. She keeps parents updated with quarterly newsletters.

She has shown leadership by serving on KAHPERD Council, training the Physical Education teachers in her district on Kagan Cooperative Learning, conducting training to latchkey directors and employees on different type of activities that are age appropriate and safe, and serving on the planning committee as well as arena director for Kansas Kids Fitness Day for the past 19 years. Her lessons are standard based and assessed through a variety of teacher, student, and self-evaluation.

Diane Wyatt, KS: Middle School Teacher of the Year

diane-wyattDiane Wyatt played a large role in helping Abilene Middle School become a Model School. She is an active member of KAHPERD and attends and presents regularly at convention. She not only attends many in-services and workshops to help in her classroom but she also brings information back to train others teachers in her district to help students be more active. She encouraged other teachers in her district to attend a LMIKS workshop after she became a certified Director of Physical Activity. She used her knowledge and training on Brain Breaks to present a district in-service to all teachers. She developed Family Fitness Nights for families at her school. She received a grant to not only fund FitnessGram equipment for her school but also for other schools in the district.

She goes over and above the call of duty by leading and participating in a variety of events. She coordinates Hoops for Heart, has chaired two Health Fairs to help students and families promote healthy lifestyles, directed a three year program for kindergarten through 5th grade students in a Family Fitness Challenge that motivated students to remain physical active outside of school, led Staff Fitness Nights, and collaborates with after school program with games and equipment. Technology in PE, includes the I-pad and pedometers. Fitness and nutrition apps have been installed that students can access at school or with their families. She supplements her Physical Focus Curriculum with innovative games she creates to motivate her students and keep them excited about movement. Her students are very lucky to have her.

Kelli Tuttle, IA: Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year

kelli-tuttleKelli has been a physical education teacher at Sioux City East High, Sioux City, IA for 26 years. Currently she is the Head Physical Education Teacher for the Sioux City School District. Kelli organizes department professional development for the K-12 physical education teachers. Her professional development opportunities are well organized, relevant for teachers and cause teachers to implement best practices. She has led the physical education teachers to adopt a standards-based grading system. She has implemented the use of IPods to assess student performance, making the recording of student performance more manageable for teachers. As head teacher, she leads her department in the development and implementation of academic programs, goals, and learning targets that are designed to meet district and state standards and benchmarks while focusing on individual student achievement.

Inspirational, motivational, enthusiastic, and caring define Kelli. She is an exceptional example of what the teaching profession is all about. Positive reinforcement is one of her greatest assets. She is sensitive to the strengths and weaknesses of all students. She cares about teaching and truly believes that each student can and will reach their potential. One family knows firsthand Kelli's dedication and outreach towards students as she helped their son by mentoring him. They felt her positive attitude and encouraging words helped their son on over several occasions though out his high school career. A quote from the mom, "without Kelli and her passion for education and helping others succeed, I don't feel my son would have made the progress that he has made to this day."

Mike Doyle, MN: Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year

mike-doyleFor the past eight years, Mike has provided DAPE services for students with disabilities at Wayzata High School, Wayzata, Minnesota.  His main teaching focus is based on providing all of his students with a quality educational experience that will provide them with the skills to maintain lifelong healthy levels of fitness. He obtained an Adventure Education Concentration in his Master's degree program and is continually finding ways to adapt adventure activities for his students with disabilities. Mike is active in our profession, currently serving on the MNAHPERD Board of Directors as President-Elect which, added to the years he has already served, a six year commitment. Mike also serves on the Minnesota Developmental Adapted Physical Education Leadership Committee where his technology and webpage skills are greatly appreciated! 

One of Mike's supervisors noted, "Instructionally, Mike possesses several strengths that allow him to be an effective teacher.  He is highly knowledgeable in the area of DAPE and has demonstrated specific expertise in the area of recreation and leisure skills. Mike has solid physical skills and especially thoughtful in his follow through with students and families.  He seeks input from others where needed, yet is confident in his own decision making, reassuring staff that look to him for support and guidance."

Dianne Titterington, KS, Health Education Teacher of the Year

danne-titteringtonWhen Diane Titterington started teaching in USD 464 in Tongonoxie, KS, no regular health classes existed for elementary students. She was instrumental in initiating weekly health lessons to 3rd and 4th graders and bi-weekly classes to K - 2 students. She has worked hard to secure grants to fund activities such as Body Venture and Power Panther Pals. She regularly interacts with parents and family through newsletters, fun nights, and by sponsoring special events. For example, last spring she had over 220 people attend her Family Fun, Food & Fitness Night.

Additionally, her community service activities are second to none. She directs or volunteers for the following: Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AIE instructor, Parks and Recreation Department coach for youth softball, basketball, and soccer teams, organizing physically active summer games for children at a local trailer park, organized a bike rodeo and free helmet give away, teaching home-schooled children PE, music & health lessons, and providing special activities such as vertical wall climbing and high elements at after-graduation and after-prom celebrations.

Diane is an energetic person with a deep passion for her students and for health issues. She strives to make her lessons interesting, real, alive, and relevant for all her health students. Congratulation Diane!

Honor Awards

scott-strohmeyerScott Strohmeyer is the personification of the Cowboy Code of Ethics, which he adopted as the foundational thread of the 2013 Central District Convention in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  He lives each day with the courage to stand up for what is right—in his profession, in his home, and in his community.  Scott takes great pride in his work.  Not only is he tireless in his endeavors, but the outcome is one of excellence.  Scott finishes what he starts with self-motivation being his driving force.  When another "thing" comes up, even unexpectedly, Scott steps to the plate and does what has to be done.  Some may say that Scott is tough, but no one will say that he isn't fair.  He gives others the opportunity to succeed, or fail—but it is their choice, and Scott will respond appropriately. When Scott makes a promise, he keeps it.  He is a man of his word—a part of his personal code of honor. 

Scott's convention theme was "Ride for the Brand" because he is able to put others before himself, knowing that there is something bigger than himself, or any of us for that matter. Some would say that Scott is a quiet man, but once again, he walks with that code of "Talk less and Say more". When Scott does speak, people listen because he has given serious thought to what he has to say. The ninth Code of the West is "Remember that some things aren't for sale". Scott holds his values dear to his heart, as well as those who are close to him. Nothing rocks those relationships or values because they are priceless to Scott. Finally, Scott knows where to draw the line. He has great wisdom in knowing not all things need to be fought for to the bitter end, but there are things that he will go to bat for, and in those cases, there is no back-up in him. 

amy-kaiserAmy Kaiser is now retired teacher of twenty-two years residing in Duluth, Minnesota. Amy has been an active board member of Minnesota AHPERD for over seven years where she has served as the Jump Rope for Heart Coordinator. She was Central District AHPERD Joints Project Coordinator from 2009-2013 where she was determined to provide special sessions and events at CD's annual convention to help educate others on the value of Jump and Hoops and how to make these events successful. Amy is also a very active member for Minnesota's State Department of Education where she has served twice as a writer of the Minnesota Curriculum Project. She is currently serving on the newly formed Advisory team for "Active Schools Minnesota" and is a Minnesota Fitnessgram trainer. Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed as she was just asked to serve on the National Joints Projects Committee – Shape America. For her dedication to her students, her enthusiasm for health and physical education, and her willingness to share her knowledge and time with other professionals, we can't say enough about the great qualities Amy demonstrates on a regular basis.

joyce-ellisJoyce Ellis is the consummate professional. She truly demonstrates and models the definition of a servant leader. Attributes for which Joyce is to be commended for living daily are: being an exceptional listener, expressing empathy, always showing awareness of the "Big Picture", displaying commitment and building community with her colleagues. Dr. Ellis received her undergraduate and Master's Degrees from Fort Hays State University and her doctorate from Kansas State University. Joyce has an award winning background in teaching. She taught public school for 23 years and has spent the past 11 years preparing future teachers. Her areas of expertise include: Curriculum and Instruction in Teacher Education, Physical Education, Physical Best Fitness Assessment Certification, Certified Director of Physical Activity, Certified Basic Archery Instructor, and an American Red Cross CPR/First Aid Instructor. Dr. Ellis has made numerous national, district, state and local professional presentations and has been the recipient of 10 different grants.

Dr. Ellis has been a member of AAHPERD for 23 years and also of KAHPERD for 34 years. Joyce is extremely dedicated to our profession.  She is in this profession for the right reason – to help her students, community and fellow colleagues understand the importance of physical education, physical activity and the benefits of living healthy lifestyles. Joyce has served on several AAHPERD committees and NASPE committees. During her tenure as Central District President, President elect and Past President, she was an exceptional communicator to the Board, the Executive committee and the Executive Director. Joyce is a respected and valued leader.

Kathleen Kinderfather Award

cardinals-care-logoThe St. Louis Cardinals and our charitable arm, Cardinals Care is dedicated to Caring for Kids! This mission statement is achieved through a variety of programs backed by our players, coaches and front office staff, allowing for cash grants to support organizations in and around St. Louis. Redbird Rookies, the flagship program of Cardinals Care, affords thousands of kids the opportunity to play ball and learn valuable life lessons in the process.

Thanks to their generous assistance, Cardinals Care has distributed nearly $20 million to support St. Louis area non-profit youth organizations, built 21 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged neighborhoods and served over 4,500 kids per season as part of the Redbird Rookies program since its inception in 1997. We strive to improve the lives of hundreds more children every year.

Mark Harvey Legacy Recognition Award

rick-pappasRick Pappas is the ultimate gentleman and emulates all of the wonderful qualities for which Mark was so widely admired. Teacher, mentor, leader, friend and caring colleague and advisor only begin to describe the personal characteristics everyone in Wichita Public Schools, KAHPERD, CDAAAHPERD and AAHPERD admire in Rick.

Rick currently teaches in the Physical Education Department at Wichita State University. He earned his BS in Physical Education in 1976 from Fort Hays and his MS from Wichita State University in 1987. His teaching & coaching background includes both public school and higher education experience. Rick started teaching Elementary PE in 1976 and taught 34 years enabling him to greatly influence the health and well-being of over 4,500 Kansas students and families. His expertise as an Elementary teacher and gymnastics coach did not go unnoticed by his HPERD friends and colleagues. Rick was recruited to teach Elementary Physical Education and Health methods classes at Friend's University in 1995. He started teaching Physical Education and Health classes at Wichita State University in 2009.

Rick Pappas has spent his entire life contributing to the HPERD profession. As a KAHPERD President in 2009-2011 Rick led KAHPERD through the process of reducing Council from 65 down to a streamlined 20 voting members. He achieved this by being totally open and transparent in his efforts and taking to heart everything that members had to say regarding the process. The fact that Rick operated in the same caring and loving manner with members that Mark Harvey would have made the transition a great success!

Mark Harvey Legacy Future Professional Scholarship

mike-meyer is a Senior at Colorado Mesa University (CMU) majoring in Kinesiology (K-12 Education). After 7 years of coaching high school baseball he decided to return to college to pursue a degree in physical education.

Over the past two years he has served at the President of the Physical Educators Club at CMU. In that time the club has organized many club events that include fundraising, conventions, volunteer work and club meetings featuring guest speakers. Through their fundraising efforts they have raised over $600 for American Heart Association and local elementary physical education programs and over $10,000 that has allowed over 30 club members to attend state, district and national conventions.

Mike has attended and presented at two state conventions, and he also presented at the 2014 National Convention with fellow club members. He has also been involved with serving on the COAHPERD and CDA Executive Boards as a Future Professional Representative. At the state level he has worked on the Advocacy Committee, and at the district level he is working to implement a future professional communications network that could allow for PETE programs and clubs across Central District to share ideas, experiences, and solutions to common problems.

Presidential Citations





Central District Member Earning Recognition at the 2014 National Convention in St. Louis, MO.

ryan-eberlyRuth Abernathy Scholarship Recipient Ryan Eberly (IAHPERD) is a senior Elementary and Physical Education major with minors in Health, Reading and coaching at Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA. His leadership and service experiences include: Captain of the track and field team; member of the FCA leadership team and Co-President of IMPACT- the Buena Vista campus ministry program. His very deserved awards are: IAHPERD Scholarship, Deans Lists, Academic All-Conference for Track and being a Capital One Academic All American Nominee. Currently student teaching 3rd grade, Ryan is a motivated educator with a love of sports and a strong desire to help students develop healthy lifestyles!

Other Award Winners:

  • Jump Rope for Heart Recognition Award—Jim Brown, KS
  • North American Society for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance Inductee Sally Scherrer, SD