2016 Southern District Award Recipients 

Donna L. Dunaway Medal —Donna J. Hester 

Donna_Hester_Donna_Dunaway_Medal Donna Hester is the recipient of Southern District's highest and most prestigious award, the Donna L. Dunaway Medal. Donna is a retired professor in the Department of Human Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During her 30-year career at the university, Donna demonstrated exemplary service as evidenced by recognition with the UAB School of Education Dean's Service Award. She is the co-author of numerous articles and many presentations at the international, national, district and state levels. However, she is most proud of her involvement with HEAL, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to measurably improve the health of children in Alabama. HEAL, Inc. is now in more than 100 elementary schools, serving over 18,000 students. 

Donna joined AAHPERD (now SHAPE America) in 1973, moved to Alabama in 1983, and has been fully engaged in the mission and work of the Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (ASAHPERD), SHAPE America Southern District and SHAPE America. At each level, she has been distinguished for being steadfast in her leadership, a visionary in her thoughts and actions, a servant leader, and the "calm in a storm." Donna is known for her kind and thoughtful attentiveness toward others, her understanding of association structures and functions, and her passion for the profession she serves. Among her chief qualities is that Donna gets the job done! 

At the state level, Donna serves as executive director of ASAHPERD, served on most of its committees at least once, earned the ASAHPERD Honor Award, its Presidential Award several times, and the HPERD Administrator of the Year Award. At the national level, Donna has served SHAPE America as a member of the JOPERD Editorial Board, on numerous national-level committees, and has received the SHAPE America Honor Award. In the Southern District, Donna served as district president, vice president of the Physical Education Division, Southern Links editor, exhibits manager, parliamentarian, and in many other leadership roles. She has received the Southern District Honor Award and served in various positions promoting the district. Donna's body of professional work seamlessly befits the criteria and requirements of the Dunaway Medal.


Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year — Anna Marie Roberts 

Anna_Roberts_Adapted_TOYAnna Roberts received a B.S. in health, physical education, and recreation, K-12 from Auburn University, an M.A. in health studies from the University of Alabama, an Education Specialist in Administration from Lincoln Memorial University, and a Certified Adapted Physical Educator (CAPE) endorsement from the State University of New York College at Courtland. She currently teaches in the Cobb County School District in Georgia. 

Anna has presented numerous times at the National Adapted Physical Education Conference in California. She presented the Adapted Physical Education State Guidelines to the Cobb and Marietta School Systems and served as a member of the development team for the implementation of a physical education program for the HAVEN behavioral center. She is an adapted PE team co-leader for county-wide programs such as the annual Kennesaw Mountain High Dance and field days for middle and high school students. Additionally Anna is a team member for the Sprayberry High School elementary feeder schools' annual dance.  

Anna is the current president-elect of the East Cobb Civitan Club and serves on the board of directors. The focus of Civitan International is to provide inclusion programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. Anna also supports the UAB Research Center for Developmental Disabilities. She is the recipient of the Past President's Award for outstanding leadership, as well as the 2009 GAHPERD Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year award. She was also co-recipient of the Council for Exceptional Children Research Award and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Honor Teacher Awards in 2003. 


Dance Education Teacher of the Year — Scott Williams 

Scott_Williams_K12_Dance_TOYScott Williams is an active member of VAHPERD. He has presented at numerous VAHPERD and other state affiliate conferences, SHAPE America Southern District conferences, the SHAPE America National Convention & Expo, and the SHAPE America PETE & HETE Conference. He was nominated and selected to serve VAHPERD in the Physical Education Division as the chair and chair-elect of elementary physical education.  

Throughout his career, Scott has received several awards including the Albemarle County Golden Apple, the VAHPERD Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year award, and the VAHPERD K-12 Dance Educator of the Year award. He also uses his dance skills to conduct "Senior PE" at the Albemarle Country Senior Center, which includes activities such as speed stacking, a dance showcase and juggling. 


Health Education Teacher of the Year — Mary McCarley 

Mary_McCarley_K12_Health_Professional_of_the_Year Mary McCarley is the health and physical education teacher at Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences. She received her bachelor's degree from East Carolina University and master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2010, she was appointed to the District Health Curriculum Writing Team and worked closely with the health education department to develop and implement effective health education programs for the school district.  

She is a mentor to teachers conducting teacher training on best practices and innovative teaching strategies. In 2013 she was appointed as the Health Education Professional Development Master Teacher with the goal of helping other educators implement effective health education programs. Partnering with the Mecklenburg County ABC Board and Talk It Out North Carolina, Mary created a standards-based product that represented the mission of the organization and met the needs of the district's students. Both initiatives are alcohol awareness programs that are being implemented this school year. She has presented programs at state, district and national conventions and looks to become more involved with North Carolina's state association. 

Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year — Benjamin Pirillo 

Benjamin_Pirillo_Elementary_PE_TOYBenjamin Pirillo teaches elementary physical education at Hughston Elementary School in Plano, TX. He began his career at Hughston after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 2001. Benjamin hit the ground running, playing an integral part in writing and developing Plano ISD's coordinated school health program and physical education curricula. 

Benjamin was Teacher of the Year in 2008, serves on the Plano ISD Leadership Team for HPE, is a new teacher mentor, and regularly conducts professional development for Plano. At the same time, he joined the Texas state organization, TAHPERD, and has since been presenting at conventions; he loves giving back and helping others. Benjamin's leadership continues to expand as he is the TAHPERD Physical Education Division elementary chair. His goal is to move TAHPERD to become more visible in social media. 

In 2013, Benjamin created a YouTube channel to share activities he uses with his students, including his popular dance videos. In 2014, he created his own website to share content with other physical education teachers. Social media and technology integration have been a great resource for Benjamin to be creative in his lesson delivery. His students always come first, and he strives to make learning enjoyable, challenging and fun for all. As a regular contributor to Twitter and Voxer, he also has presented for the #Physed Summit 3.0.  


Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year — Ronald Trainum 

Ron_Trainum_Middle_School_PE_TOYRon Trainum has a B.S. in PK-12 physical education from Averett University in Danville, VA, and an M.S. in K -12 health and physical education from Virginia Tech. He currently teaches health and physical education at Toano Middle School in Toano, VA, and has served as the health and physical education curriculum leader, and on numerous committees including the curriculum writing team for several years. He has also written and received several local grants. 

Ron is a member of VAHPERD and has served as both Middle School Physical Education Section chair and vice president for Recreation. He has served as a presenter and team leader at the Health and Physical Activity Institute, presented at the VAHPERD state convention, and provided professional development to numerous school divisions in Virginia on topics such as effective instructional techniques for PE, student portfolios, pedometer use, effective grading in PE, improving student intensity and participation, assessment, cooperative learning, and curriculum development.  Ron received the VAHPERD Teacher of Year award in 1996, the WJCC Middle School Teacher of the Year award in 2001, and the WHRO Middle School Technology Teacher of the Year award in 2008. 


High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year — Timothy Powers  

Timothy_Powers_High School_PE_TOYTim Powers has been teaching physical education for nine years at Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, FL. He has also served as the school's head football coach for the past six years. Tim played an important role in Eau Gallie High School receiving the Brevard Public Schools "Excellence in Physical Education Award 2015-2018." He was also the recipient of the SHAPE Florida High School Teacher of the Year award. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Over the past several years, Tim has played a central role in the Brevard Public Schools curriculum writing team and assessment development committee. He has developed an expertise in appropriate practice and standards-based instruction, and has served as a mentor for his peers utilizing standards-based instruction and backwards design to create high quality unit and lesson plans. Eau Gallie High School is a national AVID demonstration school, and AVID is a very big part of Tim's teaching strategies. He utilizes various WICOR strategies that are evident in his lessons and creates a climate of respect, collaboration and learning in all his physical education classes. 

In his community, Tim has strived to be a positive influence. His community involvement includes working with Melbourne PAL, Melbourne Ducks Pop-Warner Football League and Eau Gallie Little League. Tim develops and delivers workshops to help community coaches improve their craft, including team building and developmentally appropriate activities.


Honor Award — Brian D. Devore  

Brian_Devore_Honor_AwardBrian Devore is a health and physical education content specialist in Georgia's Cobb County Schools, and has 26 years of teaching experience at elementary and middle schools in the state. He holds a B.A. in health and physical education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In GAHPERD, Brian served as president, vice president for the General Division, was appointed as convention director, and served as co-exhibits manager for the "Share the Wealth" Conference in 2013. He also serves as the Let's Move! Active Schools coordinator and GAHPERD social media coordinator. He was honored by GAHPERD with the 2015 Excellence in Physical Education Award, the 2013 GAHPERD Elementary Teacher of the Year (TOY) award, the 2005 Middle School TOY, and the 2013 GAHPERD Honor Award. 

In SHAPE America Southern District, he was selected as the leadership associate in 2013, elected vice president for physical education in 2014, was appointed to the 2015 Convention Site Selection Committee, and was selected by Southern District as the 2014 Southern District Elementary Teacher of the Year.  

Brian currently is an appointed member of the SHAPE America Physical Education Council and the SHAPE America Nominations Committee. He has participated in SHAPE America's SPEAK Out! Day several times, created a Twitter account for Southern District, initiated GAHPERD's first corporate partnership, and is an Online Physical Education Network (OPEN) Curriculum national trainer. Brian has given a number of presentations at state, district and national conferences. 


Honor Award — Joanna D. Faerber  

Joanna_Faerber_Honor_AwardJoanna Faerber is an elementary physical education instructor and coach at the Louisiana State University Laboratory School in Baton Rouge. She holds a B.S. degree in HPER from Arkansas State University and a M.Ed. in health and physical education from East Carolina University. A National Board Certified Teacher, Joanna has more than 35 years of teaching/coaching experience at the community college, high school, middle school and elementary levels. Her professional affiliations include SHAPE America, Louisiana AHPERD, National Association of Laboratory Schools, Louisiana High School Coaches Association and the U.S. Bowling Congress.  

Joanna was twice elected vice president of the LAHPERD Board of Directors and selected "TOP Turner" in the Jump Rope For Heart program for the past six years. She has been awarded over $250,000 in grants, most notably for Safe Routes to Schools. In 2009, Joanna was selected as the NASPE National Elementary Teacher of the Year (TOY) and the 2008 Southern District and LAHPERD Elementary Physical Education TOY. She was elected to the Southern District Board of Directors in 2007 and appointed co-exhibits coordinator in 2008. She combines serving as the Southern District Joint Projects chair with serving on the SHAPE America National Joint Projects Committee. A six-year Physical Best representative, a NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 ambassador and a youth fitness program champion, Joanna has served on the U.S. Games Advisory Board for the past 15 years. In addition to presentations in some 30 U.S. states, she has presented at Southern District and SHAPE America conventions and internationally 14 times. 


Honor Award — Carol Smith  

Carol_Smith_Honor_AwardCarol Smith, an associate professor of health and human performance at Elon University, holds a Ph.D. in kinesiology and outdoor education from Texas A&M, an M.Ed. in health and physical education from Frostburg State, and a B.S. in physical education from the University of Massachusetts. Carol has held previous positions at Black Hills State University, was a personal trainer in Texas and Massachusetts, and was a K-12 physical educator in Massachusetts.  

Carol served as NCAAHPERD president, president of the North Carolina Physical Education Association, Scholarship Committee chair, college and university representative on the NCAAHPERD Executive Board, and was the 2010 NCAAHPERD University Teacher of the Year. She has served Southern District as vice president of the Sport and Leisure Division, chair of the Council of Community Recreation and Outdoor Education, and a member-at-large of the Council for Physical Education for Children. Carol has served on the NCATE Board of Program Reviewers and as a NCATE/NASPE portfolio reviewer.  

In the national association AAPAR, she was chair of the Council of Adventure and Outdoor Education/Recreation, served on the Council's executive board, and in 2013 she received the Julian W. Smith Award. She is a Project WILD Educator, a master educator in the "Leave No Trace" Program, and is an external textbook reviewer for McGraw-Hill. She is a published author of both books and journals, and has presented extensively at state, district, national and international conferences. 


Scholar Award — Xiaofen Deng Keating  

Xiaofen_Deng_Keating_Scholar_AwardXiaofen Deng Keating received her B.S. and M.Ed. in physical education pedagogy and athletic training from Beijing Sport University (BSU) in China. She then held a faculty position at BSU for seven years. After receiving her Ph.D. degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Xiaofen was a faculty member at California State University at Los Angeles for seven years. She is currently an associate professor specialized in physical education teacher education (PETE) in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. Xiaofen teaches advanced research methods and statistics for all Curriculum and Instruction doctoral students, and measurement and assessment in physical education, physical education program evaluation, and current issues in physical education for PETE students. She also teaches children's movement and fitness for life for undergraduate students.  

Xiaofen's research interests are centered on youth fitness testing, health-related fitness knowledge assessment, physical activity behaviors and technology, and pre-service physical education teacher identity construction and development. To date, she has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, six book chapters and one textbook. She has also conducted more than 100 presentations at international, national and state conferences. She has been a fellow of the SHAPE America Research Consortium since 2003. Xiaofen is a member of Texas AHPERD; SHAPE America; the American Education Research Association; the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance; and the International Chinese Society for Physical Activity and Health. 


Taylor Dodson Young Professional Award — Brandi Childers Pickett  

Brandi_Childers_Pickett_Taylor_Dodson_AwardBrandi Childers Pickett is the Wellness and Fitness Division coordinator and instructor at Meridian Community College in Meridian, MS. Brandi's formal education began with a B.S. degree in physical education and an M.S. degree in physical education from Mississippi State University. She continued her education by going through the National Board Process and becoming National Board Certified in 2009. Brandi has received numerous grants and has been recognized for teaching excellence, receiving the Mississippi AHPERD (MAHPERD) Middle School Teacher of the Year award and the Project Fit America All Star Teacher Award.  

Brandi is actively involved in MAHPERD, currently serving as the executive director, convention manager, and exhibits manager, as well as being on the Media Committee. She has served on the MAHPERD Board, several committees for MAHPERD and Southern District, and as a delegate on the Alliance Assembly. Brandi is a dedicated professional who freely shares her knowledge and expertise. In addition, she has volunteered with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Jump Rope For Heart, the Junior Auxiliary and Special Olympics. 


Ethnic Minority Award —José Santiago  

Jose_Santiago_Ethnic_Minority_AwardJosé A. Santiago is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Sam Houston State University. He presently serves as the Physical Education Teacher Education Program coordinator. José earned his doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Texas Southern University and his master's in physical education from Indiana State University. His research focuses on physical education teacher content knowledge and has been published in several journals.  

Prior to Sam Houston State University, José served as an elementary health and physical education coordinator, taught elementary physical education, and served as an assistant women's volleyball coach at Rice University in Houston. For the past 15 years, José has been an active member of SHAPE America and Texas AHPERD. Presently, he serves on the Physical Education Teacher Education Initial Standards Writing Task Force for SHAPE America. In addition to his involvement in a number of TAHPERD committees, José has served as vice-president of the General Division, editor of the physical education section of the TAHPERD Journal, and chair of the diversity section. He was recently elected to serve as the vice-president for the College Division of TAHPERD. José played volleyball for the University of Puerto Rico men's varsity team and the Puerto Rico National Club League.  


Recreation Professional of the Year — Michael Hall  

Mike_Hall_Recreation_Professional_of_the_YearFor almost 30 years, Mike Hall has taught a wide variety of classes associated with outdoor recreational opportunities at the University of North Alabama. Mike received all of his degrees from Middle Tennessee State University: a B.S. in 1983, M.S. in 1984, and D.A. in 1999. His primary focus remains in three distinct areas: golf, swimming and special needs students and their recreational involvement opportunities. 

Last year Mike created a new class for his department called "Golf for the Business Professional" and also teaches beginning golf at the university. Over the course of his career, he has taught thousands of young people and adults how to swim. Mike is the aquatics director at the University of North Alabama and has received the highest award from the Red Cross — the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit. Another course Mike has created, implemented and offered for several years is "Recreation for Special Populations." This course utilizes students as summer camp counselors at Camp ASCCA and allows students the opportunity to work with speciall needs youth in a recreational setting.  Mike has been a lifelong contributor to the state, district and national HPERD affiliations and remains active with each. He firmly believes that a teacher never stops teaching, modeling and caring for students.  


Sport Professional of the Year — Ulysses "Butch" Valdes  

Butch_Valdes_Sport_Professional_of_ the_Year Butch Valdes has been teaching at the junior high and high school levels since 2001. Currently he is a physical education teacher and head baseball coach at Durant High School. He excels both in the classroom and on the baseball field. His accomplishments in each are reflected by some of the awards he has received throughout his career. Butch received the Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year (2010) and SHAPE Florida Teacher of the Year award (2010), is a four-time Western Conference Coach of the Year, and has taken the Durant High School baseball team to the state Final Four on two occasions. As an outstanding teacher and coach, Butch knows the true meaning of the term "student-athlete."  

Butch's philosophy is a simple one: "Play as a family and play for each other." His teams apply this principle on the field and in the community by participating in Relay for Life, Special Olympics and breast cancer awareness events, as well as through various service projects and team-bonding activities. Butch has been a leader in his profession and a long-time contributor to the state, district and national HPERD affiliations with service to boards and as an active presenter since 2005. He received his bachelor's degree in physical education from St. Leo University in 1992.


College/University Dance Educator of the Year — Angie Smith-Nix  

Angie_Smith-Nix_College_Univer_Dance_Educator_of_the_YearAngie Smith-Nix received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Arkansas State University and her Ph.D. in kinesiology from the University of Arkansas. She has been professionally involved at the state, district and national levels. Angie presented at seven different national conventions, and has presented at the Dance Pedagogy Conference co-hosted by AAHPERD and Southern District. 

At the district level, Angie has served as the dance vice-president for Southern District, Dance Education Council chair, delegate of the Southern District Representative Assembly, Southern District Kaleidoscope director, member of the Conference Planning Committee for dance, and member of the Southern District Legislative Committee. Angie's contributions over the years to both Southern District and the Dance Division are significant.  


College/University Health Professional of the Year — Kandice Porter  

Kandice_Porter_College_University_Health_Professional_of_the_Year Kandice Porter is an associate professor and chair of the Health Promotion and Physical Education Department at Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Georgia. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Florida and her doctoral degree from Indiana University. She has been an active member of both Georgia AHPERD and Southern District for many years, serving both organizations in the Health Divisions. 

Kandice built KSU's Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education and in 2013, led the new department through obtaining a health promotion minor which now serves more than 100 students. Her greatest leadership accomplishment has been the recent approval by KSU's Board of Regents for a new major in public health education. Kandice strives to be a strong voice for quality health education teacher preparation. She serves on both the Cobb/Douglas Public Health Department's Cobb 2020 School Wellness Committee and the Cobb County School District's Health and Physical Education Advisory Council. Both allow her to play an active role in assessing the district's school wellness needs and establishing evidence-based health and physical education programs. In 2008, Kandice received the GAHPERD Health Education Teacher of the Year award and in 2009 she was the recipient of WellStar College's Health and Human Services Distinguished Teacher of the Year. 


Outstanding Future Professional of the Year — Beth Arney  

Beth_Arney_Future_Professional_of_the_YearBeth Arney is a health and physical education major at Western Carolina University in North Carolina. On campus, Beth was a resident assistant, orientation counselor and tour guide. She recently served on the College of Education's Dean Search Committee and is on the Allied Professions Advancement Council. Over the years, she has volunteered for numerous service-learning activities, including Mountain Heritage Day, Tuck River Clean-Up and 5k Races. Within her department, Beth served as secretary for the Health and Physical Education Majors Club.  

In the community, Beth served three years as a children's ministry intern where she engaged families with infants and children in fun learning experiences. She organized an after-school ministry for children in kindergarten through eighth grade and was a Summer Explorers camp co-coordinator for children three years old through eighth grade.  

Beth's scholarship record is commendable with a cumulative GPA of 3.77. She also earned a four-year state Teaching Fellows Scholarship and a one-year Ron Morrow Scholarship from her school's Health and Physical Education Department. Beth also serves as the future professional representative on the Southern District Leadership Council and attended SHAPE America's 2014 SPEAK Out! Day. The same year, she was named SHAPE America's Future Professional of the Year for 2014-2015.  


Jump Rope For Heart Coordinator of the Year — Karen Roof  

Karen_Roof_Jump_Rope_Coordinator_of_the_YearKaren has an undergraduate degree from Winthrop College and graduate degree from the University of South Carolina. She is currently in her 29th year of teaching — 28 of those being in Rock Hill, SC, schools. Chosen by her colleagues, Karen received the Teacher of the Year award seven times. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Dean's Award for Excellence from Winthrop University. South Carolina AHPERD recognized her as the Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year and the Jump Rope For Heart Coordinator of the Year. She completed her National Board Certification in 2001 and was recertified in 2011. 

Karen taught as an adjunct faculty member at Winthrop University for 22 years. She has presented at the local, state and national levels. Additionally, she served on the assessment writing team for South Carolina and as chair of the South Carolina Association for Physical Education and Sport.  


W. Clyde Partin Service Award — Kristin Brittle, Southeast Dairy Association  

Kristin_Brittle_Clyde_Partin_Service_AwardKristin Brittle is the manager of school health and wellness for the Southeast Dairy Association. In this role, she provides resources for students in Virginia through grant funding and other initiatives such as Fuel Up to Play 60, the National Summer Feeding event, World School Milk Day and other events. Kristin works tirelessly to help teachers plan and implement the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and assists in obtaining funding. These programs impact school students by demonstrating healthy snacking habits and increasing activity time during school.  

Kristin and the Southeast Dairy Association have been supporters of the Virginia AHPERD convention numerous times. Southeast Dairy sponsors a healthy breakfast bar for attendees, recognizes outstanding teachers by sponsoring award sessions, presents ideas to members on increasing physical activity and healthy eating, and helps to bring in former NFL players to lead morning exercise sessions for members. Kristin and Southeast Dairy contribute to the profession and help promote the mission of SHAPE America Southern District through high quality programs that focus on healthy eating and physical activity.  


W. Clyde Partin Service Award — Jud Harper, agency99 

Through agency99, Jud Harper and his colleagues have made significant contributions to the SHAPE America Southern District by supporting the 2015 Leadership Development Conference (LDC) in Williamsburg, VA. Jud and agency99 helped the Southern District meet its strategic goals by providing an all-conference luncheon sponsorship and promotional items for the event, and have consistently worked with Southern District to provide opportunities for members attending the summer LDC. 

The generous working relationship Southern District has with agency99 would not be possible without Jud, his friendship and his exceptional service. This partnership and support came at a critical time of budget cuts for SHAPE America and Southern District, and the partnership helped Southern District provide participants with a great LDC experience and professional support.