2017 MAHPERD Award Recipients

Below is the 2017 MAHPERD Award recients.

The 24th Annual MAHPERD Honors/Awards Banquet will be on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at the DoubleTree Hotel, Milford, MA.

Advance Reservations only. The Awards Banquet will be at 10:00 a.m, brunch will be served.

For more information and to purchase tickets click here.


Joseph McKenney Award- Toni Duval

Toni Duval started teaching and coaching in the Milford Public Schools in 1979. She then secured a full-time position at the Whitin Middle School in Uxbridge. Toni brought a great vitality to the physical education program by bringing in new and inventive middle school curriculum, advocating for the JRFH, creating innovative APE programs and emphasizing after school intramural programs.

She also began to nurture her love of integrating technology and physical education. While professing to be a lifelong creative learner, she leaped at the challenge to teach at Wellesley High School. She brought forth several innovative programs at Wellesley High School, yoga and self-defense programs; which are still a vibrant part of the curriculum. She then moved on to become the Director of Fitness and Health at Wellesley where she helped move the program forward and maintaining the program’s overall excellence.

However, she began to miss her first love – working directly with the students, so she went back to teaching but this time at an elementary level at the Hunnewell Elementary in Wellesley. Once again, her passion to teach and create began to blossom. While at Hunnewell, she nurtured new ideas and pioneered activities that were in the best interests of the students. Program highlights include activities such as snowshoeing, yoga and the BOKS program. She created exciting new twists on traditional games and activities that allowed students to enjoy being active and yet advanced their motor learning skills and cooperative situations.

Throughout her entire career, Toni has been very active in MAHPERD. She served as President, VP for Girls and Women in Sport, received the Middle School TOY, an Honor Award, served numerous boards and committees, volunteered at various National, EDA and MAHPERD conventions. She currently Co-Chairs the Technology Chair. MAHPERD became another avenue in which she could learn from colleagues, sparked new ideas and served as a way to give back to the profession that has given her so much.

Her motto at Hunnewell was to “Celebrate The Joy of Movement” and through her career she has done just that.


Honor Award - Sheryl Hall

Sheryl Hall teaches at the Margaret C. Ells Elementary School an early childhood school in Springfield, MA. She received her Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision from Antioch New England Graduate College in Keene, New Hampshire. Sheryl received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Sheryl strives to provide an innovative quality physical education program for her students. With her determination and dedication, Sheryl has organized many fundraising programs. Due to her efforts, she was able to add a climbing wall to her program. The climbing wall has been a welcome addition, which has sparked excitement throughout the school and community. Recently Sheryl started a bicycling program at her school for kindergarten and 1st grade students, teaching them the art and safety of riding a bicycle. Sheryl’s biking lessons are not only taught during regular school hours, but also after school where she volunteers her time to help students learn the lifetime skill of biking. Her program is the first one of its kind in the Springfield Public Schools district. Her unique idea has gotten the attention of the district’s superintendent who loved her concept so much that he commissioned the facilities department to pursue the potential for building an outdoor biking track at her school. Sheryl is presently working on the plans to help design and create a bicycle track space for her students.

Sheryl has shared her expertise by presenting at the MAHPERD conventions and in various workshops with her colleagues in Springfield. Sheryl has also served on the MAHPERD board for 12 years and has twice represented MAHPERD as their President.

Within her district, Sheryl has helped to create the present anti-bullying curriculum, facilitated several district-wide professional developments and continues to work on district projects.

As Sheryl states in her philosophy of teaching, “Physical education is an integral part of a child’s education. It is my responsibility to help the child develop basic skills that serve as the foundation to future and hopefully lifelong participation in physical activities. I strive to continually enhance my program because my challenge is to reach and develop every student.”


Health Teacher of the Year - Pauline Carey

Pauline Carey is honored to be a Health and Physical Education Specialist in the Medfield Public Schools and has been for the last 25 years. Medfield hired Pauline in 1992 to create an elementary health curriculum for grades 1, 4, and 5. At Medfield's Dale St. School she has had the great fortune to work with passionate educators who constantly strive for excellence.

Pauline and two colleagues were awarded the Goldin Foundation for Excellence in Teaching in 2002 for creating and implementing a successful character education program with a home and school connection. Pauline developed and taught a one credit course entitled "Why Wellness" to eighteen Medfield teachers. In 2013 she was awarded the NCTA Medfield Teacher of the Year. A graduate of Springfield College in 1975, she began her teaching career at Southwick Junior/Senior High School and later taught and coached Field Hockey and Softball at Hopedale Junior/Senior High.

She received a Master's in Education degree from Cambridge College in 1996. Pauline has 3 grown children and enjoys spending time with her 4 grandchildren, coaching youth softball and riding her horse.


Elementary PE Teacher of the Year
Christine Basile

Christine Basile grew up in North Attleborough, MA. Her happy childhood days were full of sports and neighborhood games. Chris was always happiest when she was on the move and playing one sport or another. After graduation from Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, MA Chris decided to study physical education and health education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Chris played on the varsity intercollegiate basketball, softball and lacrosse teams. She received many athletic and academic awards at UMASS. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science Degree in physical education and health education.

Chris began her teaching and coaching career at the Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, NJ. DES is a coeducational, private school, grades 6-12. Chris coached basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey. She even served as the co-athletic director her third year at DES. In 1980, Chris accepted the position as assistant athletic director and assistant basketball coach at the University of New Hampshire. Three years later, Chris became the head women’s basketball coach at Boston University. Chris is a highly respected clinician and has presented at dozens of basketball camps and clinics across the country. She was selected numerous times to speak at the NCAA YES basketball clinics held at regional and national basketball championships.

After 16 years at BU, Christine retired from coaching as the all-time winningest coach in BU basketball history. Her teams won back-to-back conference titles in 1988 and 1989. She was selected the Seaboard Conference Coach of the Year for the 1986-1987 season. Chris coached players that continued their basketball careers playing in Europe, Australia, and in the WNBA.

Teaching was Chris’ first love. Even as a college coach Chris enjoyed the teaching aspects of the game the most. So for Chris, it was an easy transition to return to teaching after 19 years of coaching at the Division 1 level. Christine has her Masters Degree in education and has 21 years of experience teaching health and physical education. She is in her 15th year at the Elmwood School in Hopkinton, MA. In her career, she has been blessed to work with amazing students at all levels - elementary, middle school, and at the secondary and college levels.

Chris is a sport enthusiast. She completed the Boston Marathon in 1994 and a handful of sprint triathlons. After successful knee surgery, Chris retired from competitive 3-on-3 senior basketball. Now Chris enjoys cycling, cross-country skiing, swimming, kayaking, and hiking. She is married and lives in Southborough, MA.


Middle School PE Teacher of the Year
Meghan Dwyer

Originally from Albany, NY; Meghan has found herself a fitting home at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Natick, MA where she is completing her eighth year of teaching Physical Education. Since starting in Natick, she and her co-teachers have been focused on creating a fitness focused physical education model for their school. They have worked closely with neuroscientists, researchers and school administration to develop and drive their curriculum. Kennedy Middle School students wear bluetooth enabled Polar heart rate monitors every class to provide them with instant, personalized feedback regarding their effort and performance. Parents, teachers and students have seen a difference with this fitness-based approach, students have shown improved fitness scores, mood, sleep quality, motivation, cognition, attention and academic performance. These changes could not have been made possible without the support of the fitness focused administration in Natick.

In addition to providing fitness based Physical Education classes, Meghan, along with her colleagues, have offered several before and after school opportunities for students to be physically active. She helped initiate a before school biking program and an exercise program that offered several fitness activities for students and staff, along with several after school tournaments. This past year, with the help of parents, Meghan ran an after school obstacle course race, that was modeled after a Spartan Race. Over 100 students signed up to run as an individual or as part of a team. Meghan is an advisor for the Peer Leadership Team for 7th and 8th grade students and also leads the community service based club, Interact. She has presented at numerous conferences around the Northeast about the fitness-focused program at Kennedy Middle School and the use of movement in the classroom.

Prior to teaching in Natick, Meghan taught elementary school Physical Education in Bourne, MA for two years where she had the privilege of working with two amazing veteran teachers who led by example and showed her the ropes of what great teaching looks like.

Meghan received her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Springfield College in Movement and Sport Studies with a minor in Health Education. While there, she competed in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track team. Meghan then went on to receive her Master’s of Education in Athletic Administration, also from Springfield College. While in the Master’s program, Meghan served as a teaching fellow concentrating on Assessment. She taught multiple undergraduate Physical Education courses, including Assessment, Golf and Dance. During her career, Meghan has coached field hockey, basketball, volleyball, track and field as well as cross-country but currently has put those endeavors on hold to spend more time at home with her husband and two young children.


High School PE Teacher of the Year
Jean McNerney

Jean graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and began her career working in the field as a YMCA Fitness and Day Camp Director in Massachusetts. She welcomed the opportunity to work with people of all ages, abilities, and interests and as she learned to teach, create, and market new youth, adult, and family programming during her 10 year tenure.

Jean moved to South Florida and earned her Master of Science Degree in Health Education and Exercise Physiology from Florida International University in Miami. Her administrative and teaching experiences as the Wellness Center Director at Miami Dade Community College and the Wellness Department Head at Broward Community College were rich in cultural diversity and professional growth opportunity. After 11 years in the educational arena, Jean ventured into the corporate sector in her new post as the Health Education Advisor for Humana Health Care. There she hit the ground running as she developed, marketed, and implemented health education programs for Medicare members residing in five South Florida counties.

In 2001, Jean transplanted back to her native Massachusetts and began teaching Physical Education at South High Community School in Worcester. She found a home away from home in the rich, cultural diversity and warmth of the South High students and staff. Recently, Jean has been focused on developing a system of student-centered self-assessments designed to engage students in the process of their own learning via a method she’s coined as “Know-Go-Grow-Show”. Jean’s goal is to make learning a personal and tangible experience that gives students opportunities to benchmark their knowledge-base, go try motor skills, grow their skill levels, and show how they improved both their knowledge and motor skill proficiencies.

In addition to her teaching, Jean serves as South High’s Health & Wellness Ambassador and has created a ‘SWELL’ campaign that invites students and faculty to be part of a movement that supports kindness and wellness initiatives in the school setting and community. Recently, Jean was recognized by the Worcester Public Schools for her Kindness Joy Maker Campaign Project work with South High students. The grant she secured from Generation On provided 100 Hasbro toys to the school to be gift wrapped and distributed to the community. The South Student Kindness Ambassadors wrapped the toys and distributed them at Christmas to youngsters at a Worcester community shelter and the rest to families of South High’s own.

This year is Jean’s ninth year volunteering as the South High Bowling Coach. The program provides 30 students each year with an opportunity to learn how to bowl, compete in games, and have fun in a safe community environment. The South High Bowling Team has won the High School Championships five years in a row, and placed second twice over the years. She enjoys collaborating with fellow faculty to promote positive programs and her work on ‘Stand for the Silent’ Anti-Bullying Campaign engaged over 500 students. Jean also worked closely with the South High Administrative and Academic Teams to promote team-building activities for over 200 ninth grade students. Additionally, Jean has served as a Professional Learning Facilitator, as a School Health Advisory Council member, and Faculty Mentor.

Jean’s message and belief is that ‘Wellness is a way of Life. Begin each day anew’.


MAHPERD & EDA Outstanding Future Professional - Sean Smith

Sean is a person who understands what is really important in life, cares for others, and sets out to make his dreams a reality through persistence and by doing what makes him happy. He believes a career should not be someone’s only focus in life or something to get through in order to pay the bills. A career should be something that a person is extremely passionate about and provides a service to society. That is what Sean feels he is providing through the Physical Education profession.

He has worked hard and has been actively involved in Westfield State’s Movement Science Curriculum Committee and in leading professional development teaches held at Westfield State. Sean is also involved in his community through volunteer work, jobs as a physical therapist’s assistant, a group leader at the YMCA, and a youth hockey coach, and by serving on the MAHPERD Council of Future Professionals. Sean has also been selected as one of the EDA Future Professional recipients. Sean believes these accomplishments have been achieved because of his passion to be the best future professional he can so that he can help future generations become physically, mentally, and socially/emotionally healthier.


MAHPERD & EDA Outstanding Future Professional - Nicole Cichowski

Nicole “Nikki” Cichowski is a junior in the Bachelor of Science dual major program in Movement and Sport Studies: Physical Education and Health Education at Springfield College. Acceptance into the rigorous dual major is an accomplishment by itself, but Nikki has gone beyond that to excel, as evidenced by her 3.75 GPA. She has earned a spot on the Dean’s List each semester she has attended the college.

She is a member of Springfield’s Physical Education and Health Education majors club and now serves as the treasurer. Nikki has been selected by her professors to serve on the MAHPERD Council of Future Professionals during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years. In the local community, during her sophomore year, Nikki led a group of peers to engage families and staff at a local elementary school. Nikki conceived of, planned, promoted, and implemented a dance event, inviting all Pre K students in the school to lead teachers in skills learned in the unit.

Nikki was also recently selected as one of the EDA Outstanding Future Professional recipients. Along with balancing academics, Nikki is a member of the Rachel’s Challenge club on campus and is passionate about exercise. Nikki has made a significant impact within and beyond Springfield College.


MAHPERD Outstanding Future Professional
Casey Barlow

Casey Barlow is a senior at Westfield State University where she will be completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Movement Science this spring. She has been an active member in the Movement Science department and served as the Vice President of the Movement Science Club. Casey has set herself apart on a state level when she was elected to be a member of the MAHPERD Council of Future Professionals Board.

During the 2016 MAHPERD State Convention, Casey presented on differentiated learning with her fellow council of future professional colleagues and on the “Latest and Greatest, and the Best and Brightest” with her classmates from Westfield State University. Casey looks forward to using what she has learned at Westfield State University to become an active learner and teacher in her field.


MAHPERD Outstanding Future Professional
Brandon McKay

Brandon is a junior majoring in physical education at Springfield College. Brandon is very passionate about the things he does and will pursue them way more than the average person. He became president of the Physical Education club at Springfield College after not even being in the major for a year after switching from Athletic Training. He is also a member of MAHPERD Council for Future Professionals.

Brandon feels he has learned valuable skills through sports that have taught him about hard work and time management and have been able to apply these into his life both with school and outside of school. From his experiences in sports and in teaching Brandon looks forward to teaching his students and athletes about the skills that he has learned.


MAHPERD Outstanding Future Professional
Max Feeley

Max is a physical education major at Salem State University. He completed his student teaching practicum this past fall at Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers, MA., and is now fully licensed as a physical education teacher.

He is an easy-going, fun-loving North Shore native who enjoys participating in, watching, and being around sports and sport culture. His hobbies and interests include golfing, playing basketball, going to the beach, movies, TV, music, etc. To Max, the most important parts of life are family, friends and laughter. His accomplishments include being named Captain of his high school baseball team, multiple Student-Athlete Scholarship awards, as well as being a part of the initial United Way and YMCA founded Summer Learning Loss Program in Gloucester, MA.

Max has volunteered at MAHPERD conferences and has been involved in two research projects. As quoted by Max “I am a huge believer of taking my work and what I do in life (in this case, teaching P.E.) far more seriously than I take myself.”