Jamie Schroeder, BHSU alum from the Class of 2015, received the New PE Professional of the Year Award for South Dakota Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE SD). Left to right: Schroeder, Staci Carlson, SHAPE SD past president; Dr. Betsy Silva, associate professor of physical education/pedagogy at BHSU; and Nikki Heinz, SHAPE SD Awards Chair.
Black Hills State University alum Jamie Schroeder, Class of 2015, was named New Physical Education Professional of the Year for the South Dakota Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). She teaches adapted physical education
for the Spearfish School District.
“Jamie constantly views the world through a teacher’s eyes. She starts her lessons with ‘it can be done’ rather than ‘could it be done,’” says Dr. Betsy Silva, associate professor of physical education/pedagogy at BHSU.
Jamie took an untraditional road to the field of education. She already had a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in exercise physiology when she decided to earn a teaching degree at BHSU.
“My professors at BHSU didn’t allow me to settle. I was pushed and challenged to put forth my best ideas,” says Jamie. “They encouraged me to be creative and innovative with my teaching.”
From the very first freshman semester of the BHSU PE program, Jamie and her peers begin teaching children. Silva says in nearly every course in the program, university students are either out in the local schools or working with local students who visit the Young Center as part of their school day in partnership with BHSU.
The New PE Professional of the Year criteria indicates the awardee is someone in their first 1-5 years of teaching who “conducts a quality PE program” and “plans innovative learning experiences to meet the needs of all students.”
After initiating and developing the aquatic program
as a new teacher in the Spearfish School District, Jamie created an aquatic chair from PVC that allowed a non-ambulatory student to enter the water, lay back in the chair and experience movement within the aquatic environment.
For a student with only head and neck range of motion, Jamie said her goal was to enable the student to develop control of her education and life experiences. Jamie integrated virtual reality goggles with a cell phone so the student could experience scenarios such as hiking and biking through eye-gaze. She then incorporated environmental and health content into this method of virtual reality to help the student become physically literate.
“I love that every day comes with different challenges and celebrations,” says Jamie. “There is nothing better than being a part of those ‘ah-ha’ moments, when things just click, especially when those moments were once thought to be impossible.”
Jamie’s award was announced in October at the SHAPE annual conference in Brookings. The next annual conference will be held in Spearfish in November 2020.