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Berkey named physical education teacher of year

Feb. 8, 2010

KALAMAZOO--A faculty member at Western Michigan University has been named University Educator of the Year for 2009 by the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Dr. Debra S. Berkey, professor of health, physical education and recreation, was presented with the honor this past November at the association's annual state convention.

In announcing this year's recipient, the award selection committee's chair noted that all of the finalists had impressive credentials, but Berkey's combination of accomplishments, community leadership and dedication to the physical education profession warranted top honors.

Berkey has been a tireless advocate for physical education at the national, district, state and local levels and has been active in several professional associations. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and is recognized within her profession as a talented and committed teacher as well as an accomplished scholar.

A WMU faculty member since 1985, Berkey has won many funded grants and has considerable experience helping schools develop a balanced and sequential curriculum. Her research focuses sportsmanship in school athletics, recreation in urban settings for youth, professional preparation for teaching, the physical education curriculum, and Internet applications for educators and supervisors.

Berkey served as chair of her academic department from 1994-95 to 2006-07 and is a past president of the Midwest District of the American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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