Featured Profile

Patty Pursell
Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

For the past 21 years I have been teaching physical
education--seven years at the high school level. Choate Rosemary Hall, one year at North Haven Middle School, and 13 years in Wallingford at Highland Elementary School. Two years ago I took a leave of absence for a year and was the Physical Education Teacher-in-resident at the Connecticut State Department of Education. Before my teaching career I spent 12 years in the recreation field in the areas of fitness—personal trainer, aerobics instructor,
and taught swimming and tennis.

Currently I am the CTAHPERD President (Connecticut
Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance), the secretary for the Governor’s Committee for Physical Fitness, a member of the Healthy Kids legislative committee and the chairperson for the Department of
Education’s Physical Education Cadre of Trainers. My current projects include: writing and administering a Carol White PEP (Physical Education Program) grant for Wallingford in the amount of $314,002; a leader for the CT State
Department’s BEST portfolio program, organizing the annual Wallingford Health & Fitness Fair; chairperson for the CTAHPERD annual convention, and presenting to 21 school districts in Colorado this month.

What I enjoy most is teaching. I enjoy using storytelling and visualization to deliver my curriculum. Often you will find me dressed as Indiana Jones, Obi Wan Kenobi, Professor Dumbledore or other such characters. My biggest contribution to helping my students fight the obesity crisis is the programming that I do beyond my classroom. Since I only see
my students twice a week, it is important to develop incentives and programs that get kids active everyday. For the past ten years, I have run some sort of year long program that motivates students to exercise at least one hour a day for at least five days a week.

This type of programming is what led to being the
Wallingford Teacher of the Year, the Connecticut Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, the Connecticut State Teacher of the Year finalist (all disciplines) and five Outstanding Program of the year awards.

Beyond that I have chaired and organized several other
projects in Wallingford such as: the Wellness Policy committee, the Health Advisory Committee, The PE/Health Management Team, our annual town-wide school Road Race, the town-wide school Relay for Life team, fitness walks, book talks, and health fairs in the local mall.

Recent Contributions by Patty Pursell