Rose Papa

P.E. is Powerful Education!

Rose Papa is one of the youngest 75 year old women I have met.  Look at the photo of her hiking.  I don’t know people half her age who can do this and still have a smile on their face when reaching the top.  Rose says she stays young because her life motto is “use it or loose it”.  And boy does she stay active playing pickleball, golf, bowling, X-country skiing, snowshoeing, walking, hiking, weight training, line dancing, and Zumba.   I am exhausted just listing all her activities.

Her love for sports began at an early age.   “I’ve always been active, even as a child. I’ve loved organized sports since Junior High and was on tennis, field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball teams at East Meadow H.S. on Long Island, where I grew up. I graduated in 1961 and went to Cortland State Teachers’ College, where I received a B.S. Degree in physical education and a M.S. degree. I started teaching in ‘65 at Maine- Endwell and after 2 years went to Chenango Valley, where I taught grades 7 through 12 for 31 more years, until my retirement in 1999.  Once Title IX went into effect I coached the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team for 21 years.  I also officiated at the high school and college levels. Before Title IX, girls were considered “tomboys”, but in college we were the forerunners for Title IX.”

Rose says that PE is more than just getting together a group of kids and teaching them to shoot a ball or float in a pool, it is powerful education.  PE is about teaching a child life skills such as how to pinpoint your strengths, work toward being the best you can and recognizing winning is not everything.  She said that how you learn to become a team player and build confidence in yourself is more important than winning or losing.  And emphasizing those points to children she taught was one of her main goals.  The other goal obviously being the fact that out there in the world is some type of physical fitness activity or sport that a person can embrace based on their strengths and interests – something that they will take with them all their lives – and that is the mission of a great gym teacher to find that activity and help the child to embrace it for a lifetime of health.