A Kentucky State University professor was recently appointed to a leadership role with the Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (KAHPERD).

Dr. Gavin Washington, assistant professor of physical education, was recently appointed as president-elect of KAHPERD.

“As an educator, my primary objective has always been to help my students fulfill their potential,” Washington said. “For that to happen, I need to fulfill my potential as an educator and that meant getting involved within my field. By getting involved, I have been able to affect change by having a seat at the table.”

Washington said he was involved in the organization as an undergraduate student and attended state conferences as a physical education teacher. About five years ago, Washington was asked to join the KAHPERD board.

Washington has served on the board in various roles, including vice president of research, vice president of sports management, member-at-large and as a reviewer for KAHPERD’s academic journal. At the national level, Washington serves as a reviewer for the SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Education) national teacher of the year award.

Some of the work Washington has been involved with as part of the organization include helping to write the health and physical education standards for the Commonwealth of Kentucky; going to Washington D.C. to advocate for quality health and physical education in schools; and facilitating state-wide training with key stakeholders in education.

Washington said one of the most important things to him has been the opportunities to work with the health and physical education teachers in Kentucky and to support them in any way he can.

“My involvement in KAHPERD and SHAPE America has given me an opportunity to have a voice and I plan on using that voice to advocate for the students and teachers in Kentucky,” Washington said.