2013 Amazing People Bios
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Adapted Physical Education Section Amazing Person Award is E. Ann Davis.
Ann received her bachelor of science degree in physical education from The College at Brockport and her master of science degree in supervision and administration from SUNY Plattsburg. She began her career as an elementary physical education teacher and was an adapted physical education teacher at the Prospect Child and Family Center for eighteen years, before retiring in 2008. During her career Ann also worked as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, at a Jewish Community Center, and a Montessori School. She has been a provider of Yoga for the Special Child™ for fifteen years, and has owned and operated The Yoga Nook, providing yoga for adults and children including special needs populations for the past thirteen years. Her teaching philosophy has always been to over plan, have alternatives and be ready to toss it all out and go with the flow. She believes that she has learned more from her students over the years than they have learned from her. For years, Ann has shared her knowledge with NYS AHPERD and the Adapted Physical Education Section, presenting at both our state and Zone conferences. It is with great pleasure that the Adapted Physical Education Section recognizes E. Ann Davis as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Aquatics Section Amazing Person Award is Dr. Jane Katz.
Dr. Katz received her bachelors degree from City College of New York, a masters degree from New York University and a masters of education degree and her doctorate of education from Teacher College; Columbia University. She is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice teaching fitness and swimming to New York City police and firefighters. Dr. Katz was a member of the 1964 US synchronized swimming performance team. She helped pioneer the acceptance of synchronized swimming as an Olympic event. Her achievements as a Masters competitive, longdistance, synchronized and fin swimmer have earned her All-American and World Masters Championships. Dr. Katz helped create the Kids Aquatic Re-Entry Program, in cooperation with the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice to help troubled youth learn life's lessons poolside. Dr. Katz has been a trailblazer for aquatics on the international, national, state and local levels. She is on the Advisory Board of Aquatics International magazine, she has been a member of the USA Swimming Education and Waterworks Committees and has been a consultant to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports since 1981. Jane has been recognized for her work as an educator, aquatics innovator and author many times over. She was awarded the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur Certification of Merit to honor her, "dedication and contribution to the development" of the sport of swimming, awarded in Sydney Australia, during the XXVI Olympiad in 2000. It is with great pleasure that the Aquatics Section recognizes Dr. Jane Katz as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Council of Administrators Section Amazing Person Award is Dennis Fries.
Denny received a bachelor of science degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland, a master of science degree in education and a school district administrators certificate from the College at Brockport. He is also recognized by the NIAAA as a Certified Master Athletic Administrator. Denny has worked forty years in education, as a physical educator and as a Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. He worked in the West Irondequoit School District for 39 of those years and one year as the Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics for the Churchville Central School District. In service to the Council of Administrators Section, Denny has been the treasurer, the conference registration chairperson, and he is the COA web manager. He is the Executive Director of Operation Offense, a task force that takes the offensive in education and prevention activities directed at young athletes use and abuse of chemicals. He served as the president of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and as co-chair of the Section 1 Summer Institute. Denny has been honored with numerous awards, including the Council of Administrators, Director of Physical Education of the Year Award, the Council of Administrators Service Award, the Council of Administrators "Ellis H. Champlin" Award, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Associations Distinguished Service Award and most recently the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Citation Award. It is with great pleasure that the Council of Administrators Section recognizes Dennis Fries as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Elementary/Middle School Physical Education Section Amazing Person Award is Loretta "Lori" Bifarella.
Lori received her associate of science in physical education from North Country Community College, her bachelor of science degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland, and her master of science degree in elementary education from SUNY Geneseo. She is currently an elementary physical education teacher at Prospect Elementary in the Attica Central Schools. She coached cross country, track and field and volleyball for several years. Currently, she serves as a World Sport Stacking Association Ambassador and the NYS World Sport Stacking Association Championship Tournament Director and Division Manager. Lori is physically active and has completed triathlons and set a record in the pentathlon at the 1997 Empire State Games. Lori is an active member of the Central Western Zone and has presented at NYS AHPERD, and Zone conferences. She has been honored with the Wyoming County Youth Bureau, "Outstanding Adult Career Service to Youth" Award, She has received certificates of recognition from the Assemblyman Dan Burling, New York State Senator Dale Volker and she received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Thomas Reynolds. It is with great pleasure that the Elementary/Middle School Physical Education Section recognizes Lori Bifarella as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Future Professionals Section Amazing Person Award is Dr. Sandy Bargainnier.
Sandy received her bachelor of science degree from Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, her master of science degree from the University of Rhode Island and her doctorate in education from Boston University. Sandy is the Department Chair and an Associate Professor of the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness at SUNY Oswego. Before moving to Oswego, she was an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Health and Physical Education at Syracuse University. Sandy is an active member of NYS AHPERD serving as the Future Professionals Section Advisor and the Higher Education Section representative for the Central North Zone. She was active in planning the Student Leadership Conference held at Echo Lake this past summer, and has served as the advisor to students presenting at NYS AHPERD annual conferences. Sandy is a national trainer for PE CAT, HE CAT, and Training Tools for Healthy Schools for the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has presented at national conferences, has authored numerous articles and has had work published in the Journal of Public Health Research and the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. It is with great pleasure that the Future Professionals Section recognizes Dr. Sandy Bargainnier as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Health Section Amazing Person Award is Dr. Nancy DeKorp.
Nancy received her bachelor of science degree in home economics education, now known as family and consumer sciences from SUNY Plattsburg, and both her masters degree and doctorate in health education from Columbia University, Teachers College. Nancy has been an Assistant Professor for health education at The Sage Colleges for ten years, serving as interim dean for two years. She supervises graduate level students in their student teaching experience and their practicum in community health education. She is an active member of the Capital Zone, serving as the higher education section representative. Nancy has written articles for both the Capital Zone and NYS AHPERD newsletters and has presented at both state and zone conferences. She was the director of the Statewide Advocacy for School Health Center for eight years. The center was supported by the NYS Education Department Infrastructure grant from the Center for Disease Control. During that time, Nancy worked with other state agencies and statewide professional organizations supporting Coordinated School Health Programming. She also served as the Lakeside Health Promotion Institute Director, providing professional development in Coordinated School Health to school district teams. It is with great pleasure that the Health Section recognizes Dr. Nancy DeKorp as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Higher Education/Professional Preparation Section Amazing Person Award is Dr. Lynn Couturier.
Lynn received her bachelor of science degree in physical education from Springfield College, her master of science degree in biomechanics from the University of Illinois, her doctor of physical education from Springfield College and her master of arts degree in American studies from Trinity College. She is a Professor and Chair of the Physical Education Department at SUNY Cortland. Lynn is an active member of NYS AHPERD, the Higher Education/Professional Preparation Section, EDA, AAHPERD and NASPE. She is the past president of NASPE and a current member of the AAHPERD Strategic Planning Committee, and the NASPE Curriculum Framework & Standards Revision Task Force. Lynn has served as the EDA Vice President for Recreation and the Outstanding Student Majors Program Coordinator. She has also served as chair of the Constitution, Bylaws and Operating Code Committee, as a member of the EDA Student Scholarship Committee, and the Honor Award Committee. She has authored numerous articles and has had work published in, The Sportswoman, the Journal of Sports History, the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and Military Psychology. She is currently working on a book to accompany the revised K-12 learning standards and grade level outcomes for physical education. Lynn has been honored with the EDA Honor Award. It is with great pleasure that the Higher Education/Professional Preparation Section recognizes Dr. Lynn Couturier as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Retirees Section Amazing Person Award is Sandy Jago.
Sandy earned her bachelors degree from SUNY Cortland and her masters degree from the College at Brockport. For thirty two years, Sandy taught physical education in the Fairport Central School District. She also coached girl's basketball, soccer and volleyball and boys volleyball throughout her career. She was a Monroe Community College Adjunct Professor after retirement, and continues as a physical education teacher candidate supervisor for SUNY Cortland. She was a co-writer for the successful Fairport Central School District Carol M. White Grant. Sandy is an active member of NYS AHPERD, having served as chair of the Board of Directors, Central Western Zone president, treasurer, newsletter editor, mini-conference director and retiree section representative. She is now, the Retirees Section President-elect. Sandy has presented at NYS AHPERD and Central Western Zone conferences. She has been honored with the Fairport Central School Crystal Apple Award, Channel 13 Educator of the Week, the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport Pathfinder Award and the Central Western Zone Amazing Person. It is with great pleasure that the Retirees Section recognizes Sandy Jago as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Secondary Physical Education Section Amazing Person Award is Kirstjan Seago.
Kiki earned her bachelor of science degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland and her master of arts degree in physical education from Ohio State University. She also has a Physical Fitness Specialist Certification from the Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research. She has been a physical education teacher at Penn Yan Academy in the Penn Yan Central School District for the past eleven years. She was instrumental in the development of a new secondary physical education curriculum with corresponding assessments. Penn Yan was fortunate enough to receive a Carol M. White Grant and Kiki is involved in the implementation of the grant. She serves on the district wellness team, the building instructional council and she is the girls athletic association and senior class advisor. In addition to teaching, Kiki is the owner of Deep Flow Paddle Boards and is a Yoga instructor. Kiki has been honored with the Central Western Zone Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award. It is with great pleasure that the Secondary Physical Education Section recognizes Kirstjan "Kiki" Seago as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Capital Zone Amazing Person Award is Laura Showers.
Laura received her bachelor of science degree in health and physical education from Bridgewater State College, and her master of science degree in health education from Sage College. She has been an elementary physical education teacher at Poestenkill Elementary School in the Averill Park Central School District for the past 20 years. Laura is a coordinating teacher for both Sage College and SUNY Cortland and she is a host for Sage College practicum students. Last year she also worked with Sage College to provide opportunities for juniors and seniors to work one on one and in small groups with elementary students. Laura is an active member of the Capital Zone serving as registrar for Capital Zone Conferences for several years. She was the Jump Rope for Heart & Hoops for Heart Representative for the Zone for fourteen years. She has presented at the Zone Conferences, offered support for the event coordinators and encouraged new events. Laura organized a fifth grade aerobic drum routine to open the Elementary Physical Education Student Leadership Awards Assembly last year. It is with great pleasure that the Capital Zone recognizes Laura Showers as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Catskill Zone Amazing Person Award is Ken Wojehoseki.
Ken received his bachelor of education degree in physical education from Southern Connecticut State University and his master of science degree from Long Island University. Ken has been teaching at Sloatsburg Elementary School in the Ramapo Central School District for sixteen years and he has served as the Director of Elementary Physical Education for the past ten years. He has served on the Wellness Policy Committee, Student Learning Objective Committee, Elementary Physical Education Curriculum Development Team, and the Committee on Special Education. He has also served as the coordinator for the district-wide Jump Rope for Heart events and has been a mentor for the Start Something Initiative, an educational program encouraging children to set a specific personal goal and begin taking steps to achieve it. He has coordinated district-wide professional development opportunities for staff, including Project Adventure, Dartfish, Tchoukball, HOPSports and Drums Alive. Ken is a committed member of NYS AHPERD and the Catskill Zone. He has served the Zone as secretary, treasurer, newsletter editor, co-conference coordinator and Zone president. In service to NYS AHPERD, he is a member of the Advocacy Committee and has presented at numerous state conferences. In recognition of his commitment to excellence and his dedication to his students, Ken is being honored with the 2013 NYS AHPERD Elementary Teacher of the Year Award tomorrow evening. It is with great pleasure that the Catskill Zone recognizes Ken Wojehowski as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Central North Zone Amazing Person Award is Meg Gibbons.
Meg has been active in schools in both the Central North and Central South Zones since December 2007 as the Youth Market Director for the American Heart Association in Central New York. As the Youth Market Director, Meg "jumped" in feet first with her schools and Zones offering help whenever and wherever she could. She has been involved with Zone hiking days, snowshoeing, health fairs, kids walks and she has taught health classes and presented to student groups, all while serving her area of schools which spans thirteen counties and over 300 schools. She helps her schools with their Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart needs to insure successful campaigns, earning money to fight both childhood obesity and heart disease. In service to the Central North Zone and NYS AHPERD, Meg has served as an active board member, as the Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart Representative and she has presented at both Central North Zone and Central South Zone Conferences. Throughout her years of service she has recruited several of the active Central North Zone board members. It is with great pleasure that the Central North Zone recognizes Meg Gibbons as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Central South Zone Amazing Person Award is Julie Dietrich.
Julie received both her bachelors degree and masters degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland. She has been a physical education teacher at WA Olmstead Elementary School in the Harpursville Central Schools for the past 28 years. She has been active in youth sports in her community and is the Greene Sports Booster Club president. Julie is also an active member of NYS AHPERD and the Central South Zone. In service to the Central South Zone, Julie has been the Zone Jump Rope for Heart representative and has coordinated a Jump Rope for Heart event at Harpursville for the past 27 years. She has been a member of the Central South Zone Mini Conference Committee for the past ten years. She was a member of the Get Moving NY Central South Zone committee, and helped plan two events that included advocacy for health and physical education programs. She had the opportunity to serve the Zone as a proxy for an Executive Council meeting and she regularly attends NYS AHPERD Conferences. Julie presented a session titled, "Incorporating Literacy into Elementary Physical Education" at the 2012 Elementary Physical Education Summer Sizzler. It is with great pleasure that the Central South Zone recognizes Julie Dietrich as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Central Western Zone Amazing Person Award is Paula Hamada Summit.
Paula received her bachelors degree in physical education from Springfield College. She retired from the Rush Henrietta Central School District after 35 years of teaching elementary physical education. Paula is an active member of NYS AHPERD, the Central Western Zone, EDA and AAHPERD. In service to the Central Western Zone, Paula has been the technology chair for fifteen years and the web manager for the past six years. She served as the Zone conference registrar, the conference photographer, and the Outstanding Physical Education Student chair. Paula is a past president of NYS AHPERD, and a past member of the Board of Directors. She has served on several committees and has been chair of both the Professional of the Year and Distinguished Service Award Committee and the Teacher of the Year Award Committee. Paula is the Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart state chairperson, she has presented at national, district, state and zone conferences and has contributed various articles to state, zone and section newsletters. Paula has been honored by NYS AHPERD with the Distinguished Service Award, the Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award, the Elementary/Middle School Physical Education Section Amazing Person, and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, Pathfinder Award. It is with great pleasure that the Central Western Zone recognizes Paula Hamada Summit as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Nassau Zone Amazing Person Award is Alyson Lamonte.
Alyson received her bachelor of science degree in physical education from Saint Francis College and her master of arts degree in exercise physiology from Adelphi University. She is an elementary physical education teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in the Great Neck Public School District. Alyson is an active member of the Nassau Zone. She has served on the Nassau Zone Conference Committee, as the Conference Program Planner since 2010. She has also presented at Nassau Zone Conferences and is a member of the Nassau Zone Get Moving New York Committee. She has been the recipient of several district wide grants to initiate new physical education curriculum related to Fitness For Life, sports medicine, cardio & strength training, and lifetime activities. She incorporated pedometers, Speed Stacking, and Dance Dance Revolution. Alyson authored an article titled, The Acute Effects of the Induction Phase of the Atkin's Diet on Exercise Performance in Active Young Adults. The article was published in the Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise which is the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. She was also the first physical education major to receive the Medal of Excellence in Education at St. Francis College. It is with great pleasure that the Nassau Zone recognizes Alyson Lamonte as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD New York City Zone Amazing Person Award is Virginia Matthews.
Virginia received both her bachelor of science degree in physical education and her masters of science degree in bilingual special education from Adelphi University and her director's certificate from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She is an Education Administrator - Instructional Specialist for the Office of School Wellness Programs in the New York City Department of Education. Virginia also served on the Public Schools Athletic League Wingate Fund Board of Directors. The Wingate Fund serves the dual purpose of financing and administering athletic programs in New York City public schools. She was a School Health Profiles Principal Investigator and she provided health and physical education support to a Children First Network cluster, comprised of 28 schools and over 450 teachers. Virginia was a strategy 1 contributor for Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and SchoolBased Surveillance. She was a contributor to the 2012 edition of the New York City HIV/AIDS Curriculum. For years, Virginia has worked closely with Adelphi University to provide future professionals a quality urban student teaching experience. It is with great pleasure that the New York City Zone recognizes Virginia Matthews as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Northern Zone Amazing Person Award is Gail Mattraw.
Gail received a bachelor of science degree in physical education from the College at Brockport and a master of education degree in educational administration, and a certificate of advanced studies in educational administration from St. Lawrence University. She has been a Pre K - 12 physical education teacher in the Hermon-DeKalb Central School District for the past 40 years and she served as the director of athletics for 21 years. Gail was a cooperating teacher for St. Lawrence University physical education student teachers, she coached varsity softball for 23 years and she recently took over as a co-chairperson for the Jump Rope for Heart event in her district. She created the PE Elementary Students of the Month Award and she received a grant to participate in the NFL Play 60 Fitness Gram project. Under her leadership, the DeKalb Central School District, physical education program was named the "Power House PE Program" by the New York State Healthy Schools organization. Gail has been honored with the 20 Year Outstanding Service Award from the NYS Athletic Administrators Association, the NYS Athletic Administrator of the Year Award from Section 10, the Health Quest Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award and the School Health Champion Award from Healthy Schools New York. It is with great pleasure that the Northern Zone recognizes Gail Mattraw as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Southeastern Zone Amazing Person Award is Margaret Robelee.
Margaret received both her bachelors degree and masters degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland. She has been an elementary physical education teacher and coach at North Park Elementary School in the Hyde Park School District for the past 30 years. She has successfully written several grants securing equipment for classrooms based on increased activity time. She also secured financial support to cover the cost of a yoga instructor to introduce yoga to primary students. Margaret is an active member of NYS AHPERD and the Southeastern Zone. She is the Elementary Physical Education Section Representative and she consistently attends Zone meetings. She volunteers on the Zone Student Physical Education Awards Program, the annual Boxball Tournament, and she is the Zone webmaster. She has published articles in PE Central and on the PE Links 4U website. She has presented at the district, state and Zone levels, as well as at the Elementary Middle School Physical Education Section Summer Sizzlers. Margaret was honored as the 2011 NYS AHPERD Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, she received the North Park PTA Outstanding Service Award, and a certificate of recognition from the Hyde Park Board of Education for dedication and leadership in professional development. It is with great pleasure that the Southeastern Zone recognizes Margaret Robelee as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Suffolk Zone Amazing Person Award is Dan Robinson.
Dan received his bachelor of science degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland, his master of arts degree in physical education from Adelphi University and his master of science degree in school administration and supervision from the College of New Rochelle. He is also a Certified Master Athletic Administrator through the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Dan was a physical education teacher in the Brentwood Union Free School District for eight years, before being named the Assistant Coordinator of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Athletics, a position he has held for the past eleven years. Dan is an active member of the Suffolk Zone, serving as the High School Leadership Awards Dinner Chairperson and as the Zone representative for the NYS Public High School Athletic Association, Section XI for the past nine years. He has also served Section XI as chairperson for the Athletics for the Challenged program and he serves as a member of the Safety Committee. He has extensive coaching experience, having coached six different sports teams at all levels from modified through varsity. It is with great pleasure that the Suffolk Zone recognizes Dan Robinson as their 2013 Amazing Person.
The 2013 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Western Zone Amazing Person Award is Kelly Strong.
Kelly has been an elementary physical education teacher in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District for the past 17 years. With her passion for teaching about living a healthy lifestyle, Kelly helped create a Ken-Ton Elementary Nutrition and Wellness curriculum, is chairperson of the school's Wellness Committee, and has been the American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart coordinator for 17 years. Kelly revised the elementary physical education progress reports based on the Curriculum and assessment Guidance Document for physical education, she serves as a member on the Positive Behavior Intervention System Committee, and the Shared Decision-Making team. Kelly is chair of the School Spirit Committee, Field Day Committee, and head of the safety patrol. She also organized a Ken-Ton pedometer challenge, and PiYo and yoga classes to promote staff wellness. For the past seven years, she has been a volunteer volleyball coach for both the Cheeta and Niagara Frontier Volleyball Clubs. In 2005, Kelly was honored to be named Kenmore West Coach of the Year. It is with great pleasure that the Western Zone recognizes Kelly Strong as their 2017 Amazing Person.