2019 Amazing People Bios
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Adapted Physical Education & Sport Section Amazing Person Award is Eric Kohl.
Eric received both his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and health education, and his master's degree in adapted physical education from The College at Brockport. He is an elementary adapted physical education teacher at Monroe 1 BOCES in Rochester. Eric is involved on numerous committees at the building level, is the coordinator and coach for Special Olympics track and field, and coaches of youth wrestling. He has been actively involved in NYS AHPERD Is past president of the Recreation/Adventure Education Section. In service to the Central Western Zone, Eric is the one president-elect and the Adapted Physical Education Section representative. He has been involved in conference planning at the state and zone level, he assisted with the writing of the new grading guidelines and the Next Generation Learning Standards for Physical Education. Tomorrow evening, Eric will be honored as the recipient of the NYS AHPERD Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Adapted Physical Education & Sports Section recognizes Eric Kohl as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Aquatics Section Amazing Person Award is Shawn S. Parkhurst.
Shawn received his Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education and his master's degree in sports administration from Canisius College. He is currently a physical education teacher and aquatics coordinator at Mexico High School. In addition to facilitating the Aquatics Program, Shawn coaches the varsity boys and girls swimming and diving teams, and the unified basketball team. As the CEO and head coach of the Mexico Tiger Sharks Swim Club, he oversees training programs and competitive team schedules for over 125 athletes, ages 5-60. He serves as a board member for Niagara Swimming, he is chairperson for the Onondaga High School Swim League, as well as the Section III, Class B chair for swimming. He was named Swim Coach of the Year, by the Onondaga High School League for the last three years. Shawn serves as a role model to our profession with his commitment to physical fitness, and was named USA Triathlon All-American in 2015, '16, and '18. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Aquatics Section recognizes Shawn Parkhurst as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Coaches Section Amazing Person Award is Cheryl Polinsky.
Cheryl received her Bachelor's degree in kinesiology and health from Boise State University and her master's in physical education from Canisius College. She is currently a secondary physical education teacher at Lafayette Junior/Senior High School. Cheryl coaches three sports, including JV basketball and volleyball and modified softball. As a coach, she uses the volleyball and basketball courts as an extension of her physical education classroom to motivate her student-athletes to perform to their fullest potential. Cheryl organizes numerous after-school activities to get all students active through yoga, dance and intramural sports. Her mission is to encourage those students who don't participate in traditional sports to be physically active outside of her physical education class. Cheryl has training in Yoga Foster, Drums Alive, and as an American Red Cross instructor. She has experience being a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. In service to NYS AHPERD, Cheryl is the Central North Zone Coaches Representative and was honored to be named the 2019 Central North Zone Coach of the Year. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Coaches Section recognizes Cheryl Polinsky as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Council of Administrator Section Amazing Person Award is Gregory L. Warren.
Greg received his bachelor's degree from The College at Brockport and his Master of Education degree from Coppin State University, Maryland. He has his certificate in administrative leadership and is a Certified Master Athletic Administrator. Greg is the director of health, physical education and athletics at New Paltz Central School District, where he is proud to have helped to create a District Wellness Center. Greg has been a dedicated member of the Council of Administrators serving as president and secretary. He is assuming a leadership role in the Council of Administrators Physical Education and Health Professional Certification program, serving as an instructor for the courses. He was a Chapter 4 representative to the NYS Athletic Administrators Association, and is currently the Educational Initiatives chairperson. Greg was honored to receive the COA Zone Director Honor Award, the Dr. John Foley Professional Development Award, and the NYS Athletic Administrators Association's Apple Appreciation Award in 2019. President Ray, it is with great please the Council of Administrators recognizes Gregory Warren as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Dance Section Amazing Person Award is Kaitlin Szczesny.
Kaitlin received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and her master's degree in physical education from Adelphi University. She is currently a physical education and health education teacher at Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead, New York. Kaitlin has been teaching dance from pre-K to 12th grade for the past 13 years, starting in her local dance studio. In order to teach dance and movement as an extension of physical education, she creates a safe learning environment free of judgement, which allows students to explore their emotions and express their creativity. Kaitlin plans innovative learning experiences to engage students through movement, music and socialization. Both elementary and secondary level students explore different movement types from locomotor to non-locomotor through contemporary and lyrical styles of dance, along with exploring jazz and hip hop. In service to NYS AHPERD, Kaitlin is active in the Nassau Zone and has presented teacher-led jazz dance combinations at the annual conference. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Dance Section recognizes Kaitlin Szczesny as their 2019 Amazing Person Award recipient.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Elementary/Middle School Physical Education Section Amazing Person Award is Jonathan Connelly.
Jon received his bachelor's degree from Canisius College and his master's degree from SUNY Cortland. He is in his 13th year of teaching elementary physical education in the Westhill Central School District in Syracuse. Jon helped develop the first comprehensive elementary physical education curriculum for his district, as well as a website to promote the program. His vision was to create physical education experiences that focus on multiple learning styles and the unique gifts and potential of each student. Jon's skill-based approach is based on the NYS standards. He offers a range of activities that help students develop skills and encourage enthusiasm for fitness in even the most reluctant participants. Drum Fit, cooperative games, fitness bingo, dancing the ChaCha Slide while dribbling a basketball are all incorporated alongside traditional sports skills. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Elementary/Middle School Physical Education Section recognizes Jonathan Connelly as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Equity, Diversity & Inclusiveness (EDI) Section Amazing Person Award is NYC Department of Education's Physical Education Instructional Team.
Members of this team have degrees from all over the country, have taught and coached in every community in NYC and have a combined 262 years of teaching experience. They are dedicated to elevating the profession of physical education and the learning experience every student receives. They work across the New York City Department of Education's 1,800 schools to ensure students have equitable access to quality programming and teachers. They intensely advocate, so every child receives their state mandated physical education time, as well as the opportunity to learn in a positive, safe and affirming environment. They won't back down until every child in NYC, regardless of their race, ethnicity, zip code, or socioeconomic status has access to a quality physical education program. They have developed resources such as NYC's first ever K-12 physical education scope and sequence, professional learning pathways and sessions that cater to the needs of teachers in an urban environment with large classes, and limited space and equipment. They are engaged in the NYS learning standards revision work; have presented at local, state and national levels; and others sit on the NYC Zone board. Team member Anthony Carrano is the newly elected NYC Zone president. Together, they are a force and a movement. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness Section recognizes the NYC Department of Education Instructional Team as their 2019 Amazing Persons.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Future Professionals Section Amazing Person Award is Lisa Sherman.
Lisa has been a physical education and health education teacher in the White Plains Public School District for 24 years. She is a long-time dedicated and active member of NYS AHPERD. Lisa's commitment to our Association started as an undergraduate student at SUNY Cortland where she had the distinction of being the first president of the NYS AHPERD's Future Professionals Section. She is now a past president of the Association, past chair of the Board of Directors, past president of the Southeastern Zone, and served as the Southeastern Zone conference director for 15 years. Lisa is especially proud of being a co-founder of the Ken Demas Future Professionals Leadership Academy held annually at Camp Echo Lake in Warrensburg. She has been honored with the NYS AHPERD Distinguished Service Award, Professional of the Year Award, the Southeastern Zone and Health Section Amazing Person Awards, the Eastern District Association Student Leadership Award, and the White Plains Middle School PTA Jenkins Award. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Future Professionals Section recognizes Lisa Sherman as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Health Education Section Amazing Person Award is Dr. Catherine Cardina.
Katie received her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from SUNY Buffalo and her master's and doctorate degrees in health education and promotion from Ohio State University. She currently works at Buffalo State College as an associate professor of health, nutrition and dietetics. Katie has become an integral part of state-wide advocacy efforts to improve comprehensive K-12 health education and sexuality education for all students. She spearheaded the letter-writing effort to fill the NYS Education Department vacancy for an associate in health education and to uphold the integrity of teacher certification in health education. She represented NYS AHPERD at SPEAK Out! Day in Washington, D.C., and serves on the Jay B. Nash and Health Section Awards Committees. Katie's recent work has been published in JOPERD, the SHAPE America Blog, Pedagogy in Health Promotion and The Journal of Health Education Teaching. Her commitment to research-based practices and dedication to advocacy in the field of health education serve as an exemplar to all of us. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Health Education Section recognizes Dr. Katie Cardina as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Higher Education Section Amazing Person Award is Dr. Sheri Treadwell.
Sheri received her Bachelor of Science degree from Vanguard University of Southern California, a master's degree from Florida State University, and a doctorate in sport pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. She is an associate professor at The College at Brockport and serves as both the coordinator for edTPA and student teachers. Sheri has authored several academic publications and has made numerous professional development presentations. Sheri has served as president of the New York State Professional Preparation Council for Physical Education, and was a scientific committee member for the 2019 International Association for Physical Education in High Education Conference. She has served as president of the Higher Education Section, and has also served on the Central Western Zone board as the Higher Education Section representative. She is also an instructor for the NYS AHPERD Curriculum & Assessment Guidance Document workshops. Sheri has been honored with the Qualitative Researcher Award by the Journal of Qualitative Research in Sport. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Higher Education recognizes Dr. Sheri Treadwell as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Recreation/Adventure Education Section Amazing Person Award is Kelly Ahern.
Kelly received a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University in elementary education, a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from The College at Brockport and a master's degree in physical education, with a concentration in adventure education, from Plymouth State University. For 13 years, Kelly has been a physical education teacher at Victor Central Schools and has led all the outdoor education units in their curriculum. She served as advisor to the Outdoor Activities club, and believes outdoor adventure activities offer an avenue for a more diverse population to become physically active. As president of the Central Western Zone, Kelly served NYS AHPERD on the state level and has presented at both state and zone conferences. She has been the Central Western Zone Recreation/Adventure Section representative since 2011. Kelly has been honored with several coaching awards, she was the 2018 Central Western Zone Amazing Person and the 2016 Central Western Zone Teacher of the Year. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Recreation/Adventure Education Section recognizes Kelly Ahern as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Retirees Section Amazing Person Award is Lee E. Mittelstaedt.
Lee received a Bachelor's degree from SUNY Cortland in physical education and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from St. Lawrence University. After 34 years of teaching physical education at Norwood Norfolk Central School, she retired in 2010, but continues to substitute in all disciplines. Lee has been an active member of NYS AHPERD for 23 years, having served as president of the Northern Zone and as a member of the Board of Directors. She is currently secretary of the Retirees Section and has been a proud member of our conference registration team since 2010. The retirees who volunteer at the conference play a crucial role in its success, as they help things run smoothly and ensure planned and unplanned details are addressed. Lee has been flexible and reliable year after year, and has always enthusiastically assisted with any task asked of her. She was honored with receiving the Northern Zone Amazing Person Award in 2002. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Retirees Section recognizes Lee Mittelstaedt as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Secondary Physical Education Section Amazing Person Award is Candace Sweeney.
Candace received her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and her master's degree in health education from SUNY Cortland. She is a secondary physical education teacher in Baldwinsville Central School District. The goal of Candace's program is to inspire her students to live a healthy and active lifestyle. All of her lessons are constructed using the NYS Learning Standards; and include the newest trends, including hip hop dance, yoga, Speedminton and tchoukball. She does everything she can to create a safe and nurturing classroom environment for all of her students, giving each of them the opportunity to succeed. She is the Scholar Athlete Leadership Academy advisor, serves on the District's Wellness Committee and the Physical Education Curriculum and Planning Team. In 1988 Candace was honored by NYS AHPERD as a recipient of the Jay B. Nash Award; and in 2019, she received the Central North Zone Secondary Teacher of the Year Award. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Secondary Physical Education Section recognizes Candace Sweeney as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Technology Section Amazing Person Award is Jessica A. Synenki.
Jessica joined NYS AHPERD in 2006, and for the past 13 years, has been our conference director and assistant to the executive director. She enthusiastically utilizes technology and has a talent for understanding various applications and programs to create organizational formats and tools used throughout the Association. When someone has an idea and is in need of creative, graphic design skills, Jessica, with a friendly smile, always finds a way to bring the idea to life. She has a keen understanding of current technology trends and a willingness to share her knowledge, which benefits our membership at large. Jessica actively improves her own skills by, "actually reading instruction manuals" and watching videos to become proficient. She definitely has a good friend in "Google." As we continue to build our professional image, Jessica continues to be our go to person when it comes to all things technology related. We are grateful Jessica is part of our NYS AHPERD team! President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Technology Section recognizes Jessica Synenki as their 2010 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Capital Zone Amazing Person Award is Barbara K. Wurz.
The Capital Zone is honored to recognize Barbara Wurz as their 2019 Amazing Person. Barb received her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland and her master's degree from The College of St. Rose. In 2011, she retired after 35 years of teaching physical education at Sacandaga Elementary in the Scotia-Glenville Central School District. One of her greatest accomplishments was assisting her district in the writing process to receive a million dollar Carol M. White Grant for their physical education program. She was the grant manager for three years and received numerous other grants to help build the physical education program. In service to NYS AHPERD, Barb served as president of the Capital Zone, newsletter co-editor, presented and presided at conferences state-wide, and was a Jump Rope for Heart coordinator for 22 years. She is currently a member of the zone conference planning committee, and assists at the NYS AHPERD annual conference. Barb has been honored with the Scotia-Glenville Distinguished Service Award, and the Capital Zone and NYS AHPERD Professional of the Year awards. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Capital Zone recognizes Barb Wurz as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Catskill Zone Amazing Person Award is Jennifer Evans.
Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and her master's degree in health education from SUNY Cortland. She received her School Building Leader Certification from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Leadership Academy. She taught physical education in the Pine Bush School District and served as the director of health and physical education. Jennifer is currently the high school assistant principal and oversees the alternative high school program, titled STARS Academy, an acronym for Students & Teachers for Academic Responsibility & Service. She has coached numerous sports teams, and serves on the district and building Health & Safety Committee, the Code of Conduct Committee, and is an instructor for the Law & Leadership Academy, which is a summer enrichment program. Jennifer is an active member of Catskill Zone, serving on their conference committee, and has presented at NYS AHPERD Conferences as part of the Catskill Zone Crew. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Catskill Zone recognizes Jennifer Evans as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Central North Zone Amazing Person Award is Amy Coleman.
Amy received her Bachelor of Science in physical education and a master's in health education from SUNY Cortland. She is a middle school physical education teacher in the Mt. Markham Central School District. Amy displays her strong work ethic at school by instructing coaches in CPR and first aid; facilitating a babysitters course; coordinating the school's health fair; and volunteering as the Running/Walking Club advisor. She also coaches youth basketball for the Madison Optimist Club and is an American Red Cross certified lifeguard/CPR/First Aid instructor. Amy has been active in the Central North Zone serving as president and newsletter editor. She has been honored in receiving three awards from the Zone, including, Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year, the Bob Brown Service Award, and the Cheri Stevens Service Award. Amy was also the recipient of a Community Impact Grant Award and recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Herkimer Area Resource Center. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Central North Zone recognizes Amy Coleman as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Central South Zone Amazing Person Award is Dr. Helena Baert.
Helena received her bachelor's degree in physical education from Teachers' College Gent, Belgium; a bachelor's degree and her master's degree in kinesiology from the University of Manitoba, Canada; and her doctorate in kinesiology pedagogy from the University of Arkansas. She is an associate professor in the physical education department at SUNY Cortland. Helena has been the recipient of several grants, including a Teaching Innovation Grant from SUNY Cortland and an Innovation Instruction Technology Grant. She received the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program Award for seven years. Helena has presented at zone, state, district, national and international conferences in physical education and has numerous publications to her credit. She is a member of the International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education. She is serving on the NYS Learning Standards Revision Committee, is a member of the OPEN Early Childhood Advisory Board and a Development Council member, and is serving as a member of the SHAPE America Early Childhood Education Advisory Board. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Central South Zone recognizes Helena Baert as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Central Western Zone Amazing Person Award is Melissa Pierce.
Melissa received a Bachelor's degree from SUNY Cortland in physical education and her master's from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in adapted physical education and adventure education. She is currently an adventure education lecturer at The College at Brockport and serves as the advisor for both the Physical Education Majors Club and the Physical Education Graduate Assistants. Melissa shared her enthusiasm for adapted physical education many summers as a skills coach at Camp Abilities. She has served the Association as president of both the Central Western Zone and the Recreation/Adventure Section. She currently serves the Zone as conference planner, presider coordinator and student representative advisor. Melissa represented NYS AHPERD when she traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in SPEAK Out! Day, She has been honored in receiving the Jay B. Nash Outstanding Major Award, the Amazing Person Award for the Future Professionals Section and the Higher Education Section. She was also named Teacher of the Year for the School of Health & Human Performance at The College at Brockport. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Central Western Zone recognizes Melissa Pierce as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Nassau Zone Amazing Person Award is Henry Opperman.
Henry received his bachelor's degree in health and physical education and his master's degree in sports management from Adelphi University. He recently earned an Educational Technology Specialist Teaching Certificate from Molloy College on Long Island. Henry is a health education and physical education teacher at Uniondale High School. He utilizes skill-based instruction when teaching health education, and utilizes technology whenever possible in both his health and physical education classes. He has been active in the Nassau Zone for the past 11 years. He served as Nassau Zone secretary, and is currently Zone president-elect, vice president for Health Education, and mini-grants chairperson. He serves on several Nassau Zone committees, including the high school awards dinner committee, the bylaws committee and the budget committee. Henry was the Nassau Zone Future Professionals Representative while attending Adelphi University. He has presented at Nassau Zone conferences and NYS AHPERD annual conferences. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Nassau Zone recognizes Henry Opperman as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD New York City Zone Amazing Person Award is RaLuca Gruin.
RaLuca received a triple bachelor degree in education from the Pedagogic Academy in Graz, Austria, and earned her master's degree in Science of Sports and Recreational Management from Lehman College. She is enthusiastic about aquatics and has taught over 1,000 students in New York City how to swim. RaLuca has participated with her students five times in the International Guinness Record Count for the World's Largest Swimming Lesson. She has coached CHAMPS swim teams and trained over 60 American Red Cross Lifeguards. RaLuca has introduced components of the complex International Baccalaureate Curriculum into her physical education classes. In service to NYS AHPERD, she has served as Aquatic Section president, is currently the NYC Zone Aquatic Section chairperson, and has presented extensively at state and zone conferences. RaLuca has been honored to receive the Aquatic Section Amazing Person Award and the Recreation/Adventure Education Section Amazing Person Award. In 2018 she received the Kappa International Distinguished Teacher Award. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the New York City Zone recognizes RaLuca Gruin as its 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Northern Zone Amazing Person Award is Sean Scordo.
Sean received his Bachelor of Science degree in education from SUNY Cortland and his master's degree in technology from SUNY Potsdam. He is an elementary physical education teacher in the Potsdam Central School District. Sean serves as the K-4 Student Council Leader, a member of the Health & Wellness Committee, and is the building leader and trainer for the school's district-wide Positivity Program. He coaches boys modified basketball and JV baseball. Sean is lifeguard/CPR and first aid certified, and has created and instructed a 4th grade "Learn to Swim" program. In service to NYS AHPERD, he is an active member of the Northern Zone and has presented numerous sessions at our annual conference. In addition, Sean has collaborated in organizing and presenting at the Northern Zone mini conferences. He has served as the Northern Zone Coaches Representative, and has assisted with the coordination and planning for the Physical Education Student Leadership Awards. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Northern Zone recognizes Sean Scordo as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Southeastern Zone Amazing Person Award is David P. Gatta.
Dave received his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland, his master's degree in athletic training from West Virginia University, and his administrative degree from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He completed his National Board Certification in 2011. Dave is the health and physical education coordinator at Arlington Central School District. He serves on the Arlington Wellness Committee, and organized a health and wellness expo at the high school. Dave is an active member and constant advocate for the Southeastern Zone. He has volunteered and hosted Care to Share events and the 2019 Elementary/Middle School Physical Education Awards ceremony. Dave was a presenter at the Empire State Games Sports Medicine Symposium, and athletic trainer for the Association of Tennis Professionals' tennis tour and the Catskill Cougars professional baseball team. He has been honored to receive the NYS Athletic Trainers' Association Joseph Abraham Award and the John Sciera Service Award for outstanding athletic injury care to student athletes. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Southeastern Zone recognizes David Gatta as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Suffolk Zone Amazing Person Award is Dr. James Wright.
Jim has been the supervisor of physical education, health and athletics in the South Huntington Union Free School District for 18 years. He has served on the NYS AHPERD board of directors and as president of both the Suffolk Zone and Suffolk Zone Council of Administrators. Jim currently serves as special advisor to the Zone Executive Board, is associate executive director of the NYS Athletic Administrators Association, NYS Public High School Athletic Association softball chair, and president of the South Huntington Administrators Association. He has published several articles, presented at numerous conferences, and is one of the authors of the Physical Education and Health Professional Certification Program. Jim has been honored with the Suffolk Zone Physical Education Director of the Year Award, the Council of Administrators' Amazing Person, Physical Education Director of the Year, and the Ellis B. Champlin Awards. The NYS Athletic Administrators Association has presented him with Athletic Director of the Year, the Dr. John Foley and Apple Appreciation Awards. In 2019, Jim was the recipient of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association's Award of Merit. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Suffolk Zone recognizes Dr. Jim Wright as their 2019 Amazing Person.
The 2019 recipient of the NYS AHPERD Western Zone Amazing Person Award is Kate Huber.
Kate received her Bachelor of Science degree from the State University College at Buffalo, and her Master of Science degree in counselor education from Canisius College. She is the school and community wellness coordinator at Erie 1 BOCES. Kate oversees the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Grant through the NYS Department of Health. She works with high-needs school districts to promote nutrition and physical activity by developing and implementing comprehensive school wellness policies. Kate also provides professional development for school staff to improve the schools' nutrition environment and to create a culture of wellness. Under her leadership, Erie 1 BOCES expanded the Physical Education Directors' Consortium to include health education. Kate was crucial in the collaboration between the Western Zone and Erie 1 BOCES which allowed schools to receive state aid for Zone conference registration and membership fees. This partnership was a significant factor in the number of attendees at the 2018 Western Zone conference, along with an increase in NYS AHPERD memberships. President Ray, it is with great pleasure the Western Zone recognizes Kate Huber as their 2019 Amazing Person.