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Health and Physical Education

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Board of Directors

Ellen Essick

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.

Mary Thissen Milder
Mary Thissen-Milder, PhD, is currently serving as the Physical Education Consultant at the Minnesota Department of Education. At the K-12 level, she was a middle and high school physical education and health teacher, and coached varsity volleyball, basketball, track, softball and swimming. During her 30 years of state service, she has worked in two different state agencies (Iowa Department of Education and Minnesota) and served in the areas of physical education, physical activity and active schools, health education, coordinated school health, HIV/STI education, GLBT inclusion, school improvement, and school support. She has served as the Agency Lead for multiple federal and state grants and has been recognized at the national, state and local levels for her passion and commitment to her fields of service. Specific areas of expertise include facilitation of health and physical education standard development processes, creating and implementing professional development opportunities for teachers, and designing and providing educational resources. She is an active member of both state and national organizations, and has served the Society in multiple roles over the years.
President Rosemary Reilly-Chammat
Rosemary Reilly-Chammat
Past President
Dr. Rosemary Reilly-Chammat has been the full-time Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) Coordinator of Coordinated School Health Programs since 2017, previously being the RIDE HIV/Sexuality Specialist. She represents Rhode Island on the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education. She has lead the programmatic efforts of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Control Grant with a focus on sexual health education, sexual health services, safe and supportive environments and overarching policy.  She has the primary responsibility for policy and curricula related technical assistance and professional development to schools, districts, and community agencies on HIV/STD prevention, sexuality, and family life in health education. She has led statewide initiatives to support evidence based curriculum approaches for teen pregnancy prevention, including contract management with local partners, and provided oversight to the RI Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs and the District Health and Wellness Subcommittees. She has experience with professional development programs including online facilitation. She had provided professional development to colleagues across the nation on how to use data to engage partners and achieve results with an emphasis on the YRBS and School Health Profiles. Dr. Reilly-Chammat is an active member of ASCD and served on the ASCD National Legislative Committee to develop legislative priorities. She serves as RIASCD Past President and has led the nationally recognized Whole Child Initiative since 2009. Dr. Reilly-Chammat presented on the National Association of Chronic Disease Director’s webinar, Whole Child Initiative: Opportunities for State Health and Education Agencies. Dr. Reilly-Chammat served as a key informant to the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors publication for state departments of public health on state and local education agency collaboration.

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.

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.

Stephanie Bunge

Stephanie Bunge M.Ed., CHES®, serves as a School Health Consultant for the Kentucky Healthy Schools Team at the Kentucky Department of Education. She administers and collects statewide data, including the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the School Health Profiles. Stephanie acts as an internal data evaluator and collects, analyzes and reports on performance measures and evaluation data for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) school health cooperative agreement. Additionally, she develops and implements a comprehensive professional development plan for the Kentucky Healthy Schools Team and identifies platforms and priorities for professional learning opportunities through their CDC cooperative agreement. Stephanie has served as the Society’ Professional Development Committee Chair for the past two years.
Fran Meyer
Fran Anthony Meyer, PhD, CHES®
Executive Director & Parliamentarian

Fran Meyer served as a teacher (health, dance, physical education) in preschool through eighth grade; HIV education coordinator, health education specialist, and comprehensive school specialist, Virginia Department of Education; program coordinator, Virginia Comprehensive School Health Education Training and Resource Center (Longwood University); program coordinator, National Coordinating Committee on School Health and Safety; executive director, National Dance Society; Secretary General, International Council for HPER●SD; and vice president (of operations) International Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Dance and Sport. She was president of the state and southern district AHPERD associations, the Society, National Dance Association, and National Dance Society. She was an AAHPERD board of governor. She is a fellow in the North American Society for HPERSD and the Public Health Education Leadership Institute. She received her BS degree in health, physical education, and driver education from Longwood University. Her MS and PhD degrees were from Virginia Commonwealth University. The masters program focused on dance and adapted physical education for young children. The PhD focused on educational leadership, with a cognate in public management.

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.

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© The Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education
P.O. Box 41253
Fredericksburg, VA 22404

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