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November 16, 2015

CATCH is a nationwide program thriving in communities from coast to coast. Once a year, however, we like to take a moment to celebrate the folks doing great work in our home state of Texas, where the folks at the University of Texas School of Public Health have been researching and perfecting CATCH curriculum for the past 20 years.

On December 3, we will be honoring some special CATCH Champions at the Texas Asssociation for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD) conference. Each week between now and then we will be profiling two of our awesome Texas Champions!


CATCH Champion 2015 ARTell us a highlight from your career with the CATCH program?

I have been involved with the CATCH program for many years, first as a Physical Education teacher and now as a wellness administrator. In 2013 our district approved a full time Coordinated School Health Specialist position as a result of the value they saw in the coordinated school health programs already being implemented.  It was one of the highlights of my career to have our district not only show support for CATCH and our coordinated school health program but to take it a step further and create a position to support the continued growth and sustainability of our efforts.   

What’s your favorite CATCH physical activity?

I have seen many great CATCH physical activities taking place in campuses across our district.  It is hard to choose one favorite, however what I appreciate about all of the CATCH activities is that they are designed to include all students, no matter physical ability.  I will add that years ago when I was in the classroom Dragon Tails was my favorite CATCH activity for the K-2 students.  I still remember the smiles on students’ faces and the rosy cheeks from all of the running. They loved Dragon Tails!

Tell us one piece of advice for parents seeking to create a healthy home environment for their children?

Get involved! You are an advocate and role model for your child. Be a voice in the school, district, and community for healthy change.  Never stop asking questions and learning how you can support your child’s health at home.  It starts with you!


Tell us a highlight from your career with the CATCH program?CATCH Champion 2015 MR

I just took over the CATCH program over the last few years for Austin ISD.  My highlight is actually seeing alignment take place, from the district’s values statement, to the strategic plan, to the campus implementation, to the students and parents learning about being active and eating healthy.  It’s great to know that we have a system in place to implement a CSH program, study the outcome data, and then make changes for the following year. We are truly doing a coordinated approach that has teeth and sustainability. Another highlight has been working with such a great CATCH team.  Peter, Joey, Meagan and many of the others have made it possible for Austin to succeed.

What’s your favorite CATCH physical activity?

Over, Under, Around and Through! It is a great metaphor of what my day looks like as a supervisor. I have an incredible group of people that I work with that help make CATCH a success in our district.

Tell us one piece of advice for parents seeking to create a healthy home environment for their children?

I like using “HOW.” Be honest, be open, and be willing.  Adults tend to pick up unhealthy habits when life gets crazy. Kids need to know adults can make mistakes or bad decisions regarding their own health. Adults need to be role models and teach their children that it is OK to change and start making healthier choices. To achieve this, parents need to be honest, open for change, and willing to make the change. It’s just one step at a time.