Kinesiology and Health Education Alumni Win Teacher of the Year Awards

Photo of Dahlia Royal
Dahlia Page Royal

Two alumni from the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education in the College of Education–Courtney Perry and Dahlia Page Royal–earned Teacher of the Year awards from the Texas Association for Health and Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD) at their annual convention. Perry, TAHPERD Elementary Teacher of the Year, works at Barton Hills Elementary in the Austin ISD and Royal, TAHPERD Middle School Teacher of the Year, instructs at Lyles Middle School in Garland ISD.

The TAHPERD Educator/Professional of the Year award recognizes outstanding teaching and professional involvement by selecting teachers and/or professionals of the year in health, physical education, recreation, and dance. Those receiving such recognition are advanced for similar honors awarded by southern district of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD), composed of 13 southern states. Those eligible are forwarded to SHAPE America for consideration for national awards.

Perry graduated with a bachelor of science in kinesiology, high honors in 1998, and Royal also graduated with a bachelor of science in kinesiology, with a focus on secondary physical education in 2002.

Photo of Courtney Perry
Courtney Perry

Said Royal, “I was very surprised to win the Middle School PE Teacher of the Year, just 10 years after I won TAHPERD High School PE Teacher of the Year in 2007 while working at the school that was labeled the worst school in the district,” said Royal. “My UT education prepared me a great deal to be a secondary physical education teacher. I give all the credit to my professors Dolly Lamdin, Tere Rameriz, and Amanda Gammage for pushing me to be the very best. These three professors helped my cohort to understand what it means to be a leader of youth health and to fight against childhood obesity. They also pushed us to always be a continuous learner in our profession and never be the ‘roll out the ball,’ PE teacher. With great classroom management and innovative teaching, I was able to capture the attention and hearts of my students and other fellow teachers.”

“I am so proud to represent the University of Texas as TAHPERD’s 2017 Elementary PE Teacher of the year,” said Perry. “Without a doubt, the education I received at the university, under the guidance of Dr. Dolly Lambdin and Professor Teresita Ramirez, prepared me to be the best I could be. I am both honored and grateful to serve the children of Austin by inspiring healthy lifestyles. Hook ’em Horns!”

TAHPERD is a not-for-profit professional association of individuals in the allied fields of health education, physical education, recreation, and dance. This Texas-based association is composed of more than 4,500 professional and student members serving education from kindergarten through college. Founded in 1923, this is the only association in Texas serving education in all four disciplines of health, physical education, recreation, and dance.