Leadership

President

Charity Bryan

Charity Bryan is Professor and Department Head in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Southeastern Louisiana University. Prior to her appointment at Southeastern, she served at Kennesaw State University, Louisiana State University (LSU) and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). Charity is known for her expertise in children’s physical activity, online learning using new and blended learning models, and professional education. Charity is an active scholar in the areas of physical education pedagogy as well as distance learning and has published 23 national peer-reviewed manuscripts, 8 international presentations, 46 national presentations, over 75 state/regional presentations, and has over $249,900 in grant funding.

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CEO

Maria Melchionda

Maria has been in education for 38 years. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership (K-6) and has a Bachelor of Science, licensed in K-9 physical education. Her experiences include teaching in the public schools as an elementary and adapted physical educator for 20 years; Past President of the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; member of the National Association for Sport & Physical Education Public Relations Committee and Past Chair of the Public and Legislative Affairs Committee for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Maria has served as SAM (Society of Association Management) Chair of the Eastern District Association and National SAM Chair. She has made numerous presentations in various arenas on the national, regional, and state levels pertaining to quality health and physical education for all students.

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Eastern Seaboard Regional Executive Director

Carol M. Ciotto

Carol is the Interim Assistant Dean for the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central Connecticut State University. She has also served as the CCSU Physical Education Program Coordinator and as a professor in the teacher preparation field for 14 years. Prior to teaching at CCSU she spent 23 years as a physical education teacher, a K-8 assistant principal and a K-6 principal in the public-school setting. Carol has served on the Connecticut Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) Executive Board as a Vice President of Physical Education, Vice President of Dance and as the 2013 President. Carol also served as the District Director for SHAPE America Eastern District and currently serves as the Treasurer for the National sector of the Society of Association Managers. Carol is a recognized speaker at the state, regional, national, and international levels on a variety of educational topics. She is also a member of the Connecticut Cadre of Physical Education Trainers presenting on various health and physical education topics across the state of Connecticut.

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Midland Regional Executive Director

Debra S. Berkey

A graduate of Slippery Rock State University, Berkey began her career as an elementary physical education teacher and high school coach in Wetzel County, WV. After six years in the field, she completed a Masters and Doctorate at West Virginia University. From 1985-2018, Berkey served as the Coordinator of the Undergrad and Grad PETE Program and Department Chair during her tenure in Kalamazoo. Concurrently, she was active in WVAHPERD, MAHPERD and the MW District where she served as Secretary, President and Board of Governor’s Representative. She also served as the first-ever female President of Phi Epsilon Kappa, Chair of North American Society and the leader of several officiating associations across three states. Berkey has been a dedicated teacher educator at WMU and beyond incorporating best practice, applied research, technology and advocacy in applied settings across her career. She continues this work as the Executive Director of SHAPE Michigan and the Academy Midland Region.

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Southern Tier Regional Executive Director

Hollie Newnam

Hollie M. Newnam, Executive Director of SHAPE Florida, holds a PhD in Physical Education from Florida State University (FSU), an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Nova University, and a B.A in Physical Education from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Hollie was an elementary school principal in Volusia County, Florida, assistant professor in the Sport Management, Recreation and Physical Education Department at FSU and an instructor in the Department of Physical Education at UCF. Additional work experience includes 20 years as a high school physical education instructor and supervisor in Volusia County Florida, an adjunct professor at UCF supervising physical education interns as well as grant writing and consulting at Curva and Associates and UCF. In addition to serving as the current executive director of SHAPE Florida, Hollie served Florida as President, Dance Association Vice-president, Chair of the Advocacy Strategy Panel, and 18 years as convention program director.

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West Coast Regional Executive Director

Cam Kerst

Cam grew up in Renton, Washington She received her BS in physical education from Washington State University and a MA from Pacific Lutheran University in Supervision and Administration. Cam taught elementary physical education for 13 years in Tacoma, WA. She taught one year in Georgia in Cobb County and then moved to Murfreesboro, TN and taught an additional 24 years at Johnson Elementary School in Franklin Special School District. She received a Doctor of Arts degree from Middle Tennessee State University and is a National Board Certified Teacher.

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