Jamie Sparks, the coordinated school health director in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Teaching and Learning, was voted president-elect of SHAPE America – the Society of Health and Physical Educators – at its annual conference March 20-24 in Nashville, Tenn.
SHAPE America is the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Its National Standards for K-12 Physical Education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country.
Sparks will serve as president of SHAPE America in 2019-20, with his term beginning after the annual conference in March 2019. He will lead an 11-member board of directors that serves as the organization’s governing body, and he will serve on the board in the years before and after his term as president.
“The most important leadership quality that will assist me as president-elect of SHAPE America is my complete passion for our profession,” Sparks said in a leadership statement on SHAPE America’s website. “I believe the vision of 50 Million Strong is simple: to make health education and physical education just like reading and math – subjects that all students get every day throughout their entire school experience.”
Sparks came to KDE in August 2010 as the physical activity, nutrition and tobacco consultant. In March 2011, he assumed the role of project director for the coordinated school health initiative that was funded by a federal grant through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He has served on various leadership roles with the state board for the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (KAHPERD), including the 2014 vice president of physical education and the 2016 president, and he is currently the executive director.
He served on the board of directors with the American School Health Association from 2014 to 2016. Sparks is a member of The Society of State Leaders for Health and Physical Education and chairs the communication/social media committee. He has been a member of the health council for SHAPE America Southern District since 2015 and in 2016 was elected as a member-at-large to its leadership council.