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 SRU Physical Education Professor Named to Statewide Teacher of Year Honor 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University recognized her outstanding teaching abilities in 2000 and now the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance has reached the same conclusion, naming SRU’s Dr. Betsy A. McKinley, “University Teacher of the Year.”

          McKinley, a 23-year K-12 health and physical education public school veteran and a nine-year SRU faculty member, will receive the statewide award at the association’s state convention in Lancaster on Nov. 21.

           An associate professor of physical education and sport management in SRU’s College of Education, McKinley is immediate past president of PSAHPERD, having served a year as president-elect and as president. Under her presidential leadership in 2002, the organization focused on the theme “Imagine the Possibilities: Take New Direction,” including legislative advocacy toward enhancing physical education, health and wellness programs across the commonwealth. The focus included workshops on effective lobbying as members emphasized the importance of retaining physical education classes in the secondary school curriculum.

           “I am truly honored to have been named recipient of this year’s award, and I thank those who supported my nomination,” McKinley said in learning of her selection. Dr. Jay Hertzog, dean of SRU’s College of Education was among those supporting her selection, pointing out, “Dr. McKinley has been a driving force in the Physical Education/Teacher Education program with her initiative to develop and implement “Teaching Centers” in several area schools. These centers are cutting-edge ventures in which our students are provided supervision and guidance in honing their teaching under the eye of an outstanding practicing physical education educator…I can think of no one who better emulates the established standards for this prestigious award.”

          Another supporter, Dr. Rhonda R. Ridinger at Southwest Missouri State University, added, “I have worked with many fine teachers, but assuredly, none with the passion for teaching, the unmitigated drive and the abilities of Dr. Betsy McKinley. Teaching physical education is her forte; sharing her expertise is her gift.”

           As recipient of SRU’s President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching as part of the 2000 Academic Honors Convocation, she was nominated for her continued commitment and obvious passion to teaching. Students praise her classroom style, which models a variety of teaching styles, including role playing and practical experiences. She also models  assessment techniques students can employ as they become successful educators.

          McKinley says her recent year as president of PSAHPERD allowed her to continue lobbying legislators, school boards, school administrators, parents and even students on the importance of physical education and healthy lifestyles as part of the standard school education program. “We know that as budgets tighten, physical education and health classes are among the first things considered for cuts, yet, we also know they are among the most important academic subjects that can have a critical and lifelong impact on learners of all ages.”

           In addition to her work at SRU and with PSAHPERD, McKinley has been involved with the Pennsylvania Governor’s Institute for Health, Safety and Physical Education and has served as a consultant to the five-year, $1 million, Missouri Goals 2000 project. She is the educational consultant for the United States Lifesaving Manual, writing lessons plans to accompany its “Open Water Lifesaving Manual.” She also supervises student teachers in SRU’s teacher education program in Dublin, Ireland.

          McKinley earned her doctorate at Temple University, her master’s degree at SRU and her undergraduate degree at Lock Haven University.

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