Press Release


Delcinda Saito of Central District of Oahu to be Honored with Joy of Effort Award at SHAPE America National Convention

RESTON, VA, March 21, 2016 – Delcinda Saito, an adapted physical education resource teacher for the Central District of Oahu, will be recognized with the Joy of Effort award by SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, officials announced today. Given in recognition of her distinguished service, dedication, and commitment to improving physical activity, the Joy of Effort Award, designed by sculptor R. Tait McKenzie, will be presented during the 131st National Convention & Expo in Minneapolis. 

The Joy of Effort award recipient will be announced on Friday, April 8 at the SHAPE America Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by Human Kinetics, an employee-owned company committed to serving the physical activity field. Lindsay Whalen, U.S. Olympian, five-time WNBA All-Star and point guard for the Minnesota Lynx, and Alan Faneca, former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro guard, will be inducted into the SHAPE America Hall of Fame that evening. Others to be honored include the National Physical Education Teachers of the Year for elementary, middle and high school and National Teachers of the Year for adapted physical education, dance and health. 

According to SHAPE America President Steve Jefferies, professor emeritus, Central Washington University, "this award honors an individual who exemplifies the highest standards in accomplishment, innovation, and leadership.

Past SHAPE America President Joanne Owens-Nauslar added, "Delight, rejoice and rejuvenation are just a few synonyms for 'JOY.' Delcy Saito exemplifies each of these in her personal and professional life. She follows the footsteps of her mentor -- fellow Hawaiian, advisor, previous Joy of Effort recipient, Dr. Delores Curtis. My own career is more joyful because of 30 plus years of professional interactions with Delcy."

Born in the Hawaiian neighborhood of Papakolea, Delcinda P. F. Saito walked down the hill to Pauoa Elementary, Stevenson Intermediate and Roosevelt High Schools. In high school, she assisted the physical education teacher, and in those pre-Title IX years, she began playing basketball with the Kalihi Jets, a community club. The Jets connection led to her teaching at St. Andrews Priory School for Girls in 1974. In addition to coaching the Priory girls in basketball and volleyball, she served as assistant athletic director. One year she also served as a co-director of the State High School Volleyball Tournament. During the Priory years, she began attending community college, which led her to the University of Hawaii where she was recruited to play on the first UH women's basketball team and majored in physical education. In her senior year, she was inducted into Mortar Board.

Saito is never far from her ukulele, which she enjoys playing. Add the music to her natural knack for entertaining children with simple games, she has always been like a magnet for children. In 1987, Saito began teaching in public elementary schools where her heart lies. She took that love for children to her next role as adapted physical education resource teacher. As her experience deepened, she was asked to share with teachers during several summer schools at UH. The DOE recognized her teaching talents and employed her in many in-servicing workshops for teachers.

A member of SHAPE America, she is also active with the Hawaii Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. In her free time, she and her husband, James, enjoy playing golf and tennis. 

For more information about SHAPE America's National Convention & Expo, visit the website and follow hashtag #SHAPEMinneapolis.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit