Log in

The Sciety Logo

The Society
of State Leaders of
Health and Physical Education

Log in

Board of Directors

Susanne Schmal

Susanne Schmal is a public health practitioner with 20+ years in chronic disease prevention, wellness, and school health. She is currently the School Health Partnerships & Policy Consultant in the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI). She works with school districts in NC, community partners, as well as state and national partners to support their policy and practice efforts to build on successes addressing components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model. Prior to working in the DPI, Susanne worked at the NC Division of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, the Division of Community Health at Duke University Medical Center, and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. She received her MPH at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Health Behavior program. Susanne is a generalist at heart and loves the connections among the various sectors and people, but appreciates the specialized expertise needed, as well, and enjoys bringing these worlds together for creative solutions.

Jim Tackett

Ellen Essick
Past President

Ellen Essick is Section Chief of Specialized Instructional Support and Healthy Schools at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She has more than twenty years of experience working with school districts and communities on health and wellness initiatives, including those that focus on health outcomes of vulnerable and marginalized groups. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations and more than ten years of progressive leadership at the state and national levels providing strategic guidance and cross-sector collaboration to align strategies and integrate metrics for health and education outcomes. Ellen is recognized for her knowledge and skills in prevention, instructional design, curriculum development, and public speaking. Ellen is a long-term member of the Society and served on numerous committees over the years.

Jodi Parker

Jodi Parker is the Health and Physical Education Specialist and Title IVA Coordinator for the Utah State Board of Education (USBE). She is a goal leader for USBE’s Safe and Healthy Schools section of the strategic plan. Jodi also sits on the Utah High School Activities Association executive committee, is a member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute Community Advisory Council, and leading Utah’s involvement in Leadership Exchange for Adolescent Health Promotion (LEAHP). Prior to working at USBE she taught and coached in the Weber School District in Northern Utah.

She is an advocate for all education, but especially health education for the whole child. Jodi believes that there is nothing more important than teaching a student the skills and behaviors for them to lead a healthy lifestyle: physically, mentally, and socially. Equitable access to a proper health and physical education have been Jodi’s central focus while working at USBE. In 2017 she took on the long overdue effort of revising the state’s health education core standards. After two long years, in 2019, the State Board adopted health education core standards that address the whole child K-6, middle school, and high school. In early 2019 Jodi worked with community and school stakeholders to create a recess guideline for all Utah schools. The guideline was presented to the Board with a favorable outcome in January 2020. This guideline stresses the importance of daily recess and strongly discourages taking away recess for punishment or remediation.

Jodi grew up playing a variety of sports and recreation activities. She has recently tried to pick up golf, so far golf is winning. Jodi loves spending her free time, when she has it, finding new adventures with her family, including her 9-month-old toddler in a COVID world. No matter what the activity she is happier outdoors than anything indoors and makes a habit of eating lunch in the sunshine as much as she can manage followed by a nice walk, just not during Utah’s winter months.

Wendy Sellers

Wendy L. Sellers, RN, MA, CSE, FASHA, a national author and trainer, has been a passionate advocate for the health of children and youth for more than 35 years. She is a registered nurse with a master's degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. Wendy is known nationally for writing and publishing Puberty: The Wonder Years, a curriculum for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Ms. Sellers also co-authored the nationally recognized Michigan Model for Health, the K-12 comprehensive health curriculum that is on the prestigious National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices as an evidence-based drug and violence prevention program. As the founder and president of Health 4 Hire, Inc., Ms. Sellers provides a variety of consulting services, including training, public speaking, and writing for organizations and professionals across the nation.

Patricia Stewart

Patricia (Pat) Stewart has over forty years of experience working in the field of health and physical education.  She taught secondary health and physical education and coached before becoming the Title IX and Equal Education Opportunities Coordinator for the South Dakota Department of Education in 1989.  In 1994, Pat became the Coordinated School Health Director serving in this capacity until December 2001 before moving to Idaho where she served as the HIV/YRBS Coordinator, later becoming the Director of Coordinated School Health for the Idaho State Department of Education.  Pat currently works as a Regional Program Consultant for The Children’s Health Market, publisher of THE GREAT BODY SHOP, providing support and training for school districts across the country using this comprehensive health education program. Pat has been an active member of The Society since 1998 serving as President for two years in 2014 to April 2016.  She has served on the Board of Directors since 2014 serving as the Treasurer since 2017. Pat is an Emeritus member and currently serves as the Board Liaison to the Emeritus/Retiree Committee and an active member of the Finance, Professional Development and Membership Committees. In 2019, Pat received the Simon McNeely Honors Award for her service to the Society and leadership in the field of health and physical education.

Lyn Anne Jenkins

Lyn Jenkins is an Education Program Consultant focusing on Health Education, Physical Education, and related grants for the Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion. She joined the Department in July 2019 to provide consultation and support in implementing Iowa’s newly adopted recommended health and physical education standards. Lyn has previously worked in early care, schools, out-of-school programs and through non-profits to support nutrition, physical activity and wellness strategies. Her work focuses on the intersection of health and education in providing equitable opportunities for learners to attain the skills, knowledge, aptitude and access that support healthy behaviors. Lyn has a Master’s in Public Health from Des Moines University, a Bachelor’s in Health and Human Performance from Iowa State University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Executive Committee

Responsible for and has authority to conduct the affairs of the Society and is the policymaking body of the organization. Meets face-to-face annually and monthly by conference call. The Executive Committee consists of the President, President-Elect and past President.

Leadership Council

Members include all officers listed above plus committee chairs and chairs-elect. Meets face-to-face annually and monthly by conference call.

Our Sponsors

The Great Body Shop

Puberty: The Wonder Years

Our Partners

© The Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education
12406 W Dalrymple Street
Boise, ID 83709

Shaping a Healthier Future for Kids


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software