Listee Features — Physical Education

Leslie Hickcox

LESLIE K. HICKCOX

Backed by years of professional excellence and an educational background, Leslie K. Hickcox, EdD, most recently served as a program leader and site director for the YMCA public school programs and, currently, as a paraprofessional educator for Portland Public Schools since 2017. Prior to 2017, she has excelled as an agent for the Affordable Care Act and the Oregon Health Plan since 2013. Previously, she was the public health educator for Cowlitz County, Washington, in 2013. During this time, she taught a graduate course in educational service learning at Portland State University between 2009 and 2012. Leading a career in health education, physical education, human studies and communication studies, Dr. Hickcox also taught at Oregon State University, Marylhurst University, the

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Sally Altman

SALLY L. ALTMAN

Growing up, Sally L. Altman excelled at both school and swimming. She wanted to find some way to incorporate both into her career, and physical education seemed a natural choice. Ms. Altman’s first job in the field was instructor at the College of the Sequoias, followed by teacher at Divisadero Junior High School and Mount Whitney High School. She then became a teacher and coach at Modesto High School, Placer High School, Eureka School and Cavitt Junior High. Her final position before retiring in 1996 was substitute teacher. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Altman was very involved in her community. Some notable roles include synchronized swim coach for the City of Roseville Recreation Department, workshop presenter and consultant for National

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MARY K. KNECHTGES

Growing up, Mary K. Knechtges loved playing sports with her older brothers. She learned a lot from them, but didn’t receive any formal training until junior high school. Girls weren’t really supposed to be into sports at that time, so she thought her gym teacher was the coolest for both being in the field and encouraging her. Ms. Knechtges admired the teacher so much that it inspired her to follow in her footsteps. She proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Science from Bowling Green State University in 1967 and land a job as a physical education, health, and English educator at L’Anse Creuse High School that same year. She also completed postgraduate coursework at Wayne State University between 1968 and

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LINDA SUZANNE MASON

When Linda Suzanne Mason was young, she loved participating in sports with her brother and the other boys in her neighborhood. She also really valued education, thanks to the influence of her parents. This made becoming a physical education teacher a natural choice; it combined both of her passions into one career. To help her achieve her goals, she earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from Indiana University in 1968 and 1977, respectively, as well as certification as a physical education teacher for grades K-12 in the state of Indiana. Degrees in hand, Ms. Mason set out to make her mark on the field. Her first professional position was physical education teacher at Woodview Junior High

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CAROL ANNA PLODZIEN

Growing up in Chicago, Carol Anna Plodzien participated in a number of recreational programs for girls, including volleyball, softball, track and field, and speed skating. She went on to play all through high school and college, and decided she wanted to become a teacher to share her great athletic experiences with the younger generations. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science from North Illinois University in 1971, Ms. Plodzien immediately joined William Fremd High School as a teacher of physical education. She remained there until her retirement in 2008. Some of the highlights of Ms. Plodzien’s career were becoming the first ever basketball coach at the school and leading the team to win 50 consecutive games between 1972 and 1977,

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EMILY MOORE

Taught from a young age to always do her best, Emily Moore has given her all to her career in physical education. She initially became interested in the field when she discovered she had a natural ability to be successful in team sports. Adding to her love for athletics was how the team spirit carried over to her personal life, leading her to set an “uncompromising standard of excellence.” Ms. Moore decided she wanted to pass on those values to others, so she obtained a Bachelor of Science in physical education from Morgan State University in 1965 and a Master of Science in education and counseling from Hofstra University in 1972, as well as certification in K-12 physical education. She

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BECKY SISLEY

Inspired by very good professors and physical educators growing up, Becky Sisley was determined to make her mark on the field. She started her journey by earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in 1961 and teaching for a year at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Dr. Sisley then earned a Master of Science in physical education and a Doctor of Education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in 1964 and 1973, respectively, and garnered more hands-on experience as an instructor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She also became certified as a national official for basketball, softball, volleyball, and field hockey, and as a national rating official for the United States Track and Field

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LANA VANAUKER

Living by the motto, “it’s not about basking in the sun, but dancing in the rain,” Lana VanAuker believes that everyone should have the opportunity to be the best they can be, no matter how old they are. She became a recreational therapist at Trumbell Memorial Hospital with that in mind, and is currently working in the psychiatric unit with those suffering from depression and anxiety. There, she leads groups in activities like stress dancing and exercise yoga, and sits on the treatment team for patients. Ms. VanAuker’s goal is to reduce the effects of these conditions, and she feels validated by the letters she receives from people thanking her for being a part of their improvement. She has held

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