Society Testimonial by Janet Ray, Delaware
A colleague of mine, Edith P. Vincent, was one of the original members of The Society and often shared stories with me about gatherings
at Gull Lake, MI, and other places. In those days, members would use their personal funds to meet with job like colleagues to share professional
experiences, gain insight, and strategize ways to improve the delivery of health and physical education programs. Colleagues became friends and
confidants and the networking proved successful in creating opportunities to communicate, market, and advocate for their profession.
In 1995, I joined The Society and shared her experience. Professionally, I started at the education department as an HIV prevention specialist,
but before long, my responsibilities expanded to include comprehensive school health education and the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program. It
seemed, anything health-related ended up on my desk. Many other state department staff had similar experiences. As members, we developed a
comradery and consulted each other on the various issues we faced. We worked together to identify our professional development needs and attended
sessions, facilitated by our colleagues which helped us become more informed and better prepared to meet our growing job expectations.
Meetings provided clear and succinct guidance to improve the work we were doing and we had a network of professionals to learn from. It was a
non-threatening learning environment that helped us meet the demands of the job—and it was fun!
Even in the most supportive work environment, it can be difficult to understand the challenges of federal program requirements while monitoring
state standards and assessment. I encourage membership in The Society to help navigate those challenges and take advantage of the experience and
expertise of others.
Janet Ray, Delaware