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(Sunday Night: 9:54 PM) In a few minutes, I will be hard at work trying to put the final edits to the November/December issue of the Great Activities Newspaper.  Tomorrow (October 18th) is my deadline in order to get this issue out by the first week of November.

Psst…. Sample Copy: If you’d like to download a sample copy of this cool K-8 PE magazine, please click on the masthead graphic above.

Anyway, I was reflecting a bit more about the recent Maryland AHPERD Convention.  I was able to spend a bunch of time interacting and listening to folks while I was there.  For example, it was fun to heard about the cool health and PE assessment projects many school districts have been able to implement.

Leading the Nation in Assessment? With only 24 school districts in the state, the Maryland Department of Education has been able to do what only a few states has been able to dream of: curriculum alignment of health and PE, district-wide health and PE exit exams, standardized summative assessments, pacing guides, grading rubrics, etc.  To me, I’d rank Maryland #1 as far as what I have been able to see first hand. Brian Griffith (Specialist for Comprehensive Health Education) and Mike Mason (Specialist for Physical Education) have done a great job!

I have also heard great stuff about Delaware’s PE programs, but I’ve not been there to see it myself yet. Maybe next year? As far as individual school districts, I believe that Austin ISD (Texas) and El Paso ISD (also in Texas) are ahead of most school districts in regards to working towards a data-driven PE program.

Emerging Leaders: It was also great to learn that Maryland AHPERD has started an “Emerging Leaders” dinner and leadership session.  This activity is held the night before the convention starts.  Each year, school districts send their “emerging leaders,”  – health, PE, and dance educators who have been identified with outstanding leadership skills – to “rub shoulders” with state, national, and local leaders.  This is viewed as a special “in-reach” activity to groom the next generation of MAHPERD leaders.

A Great Student Teacher “Thank you!” Jamie Hitchner is a teacher at Taneytown Elementary, a President’s Council National PE Demonstration School.  Jamie dropped by the Great Activities’ booth to buy a 1-year subscription to the Great Activities Newspaper for his current student teacher.

It was also great to meet Gail Welty – a longtime Great Activities subscriber and contributor! I was also able to re-meet Kristina Reeves was presenting a session at the Convention. Kristina attended one of our State Standards Workshops in Frederick, MD several years ago.

One Thing I Will Never Forget: One of the “Emerging Leaders” participants saying that his “Personal Hero” said that if you’re lucky, you’ll meet “three gentlemen in your lifetime.”

“It was at that time that I decided that I would try to be one of the ‘three gentlemen’ in each of my students’ lives – just as he became one of the ‘three gentlemen’ in my life.  For he certainly was a true gentleman in every manner of his life.”

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