The Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (GAHPERD) recently selected Kennesaw Elementary School PE teacher Emily Adams as the recipient of the Kim Thompson Honor Award for service, leadership, and dedication to the State Association. She has served on the board of GAHPERD since 1999.
The Kim Thompson Honor Award recognizes members like Coach Adams, whose service to the State Association has been exemplary, sustaining, and far-reaching. Individuals are chosen based on their record of service in leadership positions within the Association, their contributions to their profession and professionals, and their willingness to take on responsibilities to further the work of the Association. The Honor Award is the highest award presented by GAHPERD.
More than three decades ago, Coach Adams began her physical education career in Cobb at Kennesaw Elementary School, and Kennesaw Elementary School has been her home ever since. During her 31 years at Kennesaw Elementary, Coach Adams has organized the Jump Rope for Heart and Kids Heart Challenge, helping raise about $900,000 for the American Heart Association during her career.
“Coach Adams also began the Grasshopper Jump Rope Team in 2007, showcasing the jump rope skills of students at many events throughout Kennesaw and Cobb County. She still has the energy and passion of a first-year teacher. She works hard to build positive relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. Coach Adams’ passion is healthy living through diet, exercise, and enjoying life. She is a true example to everyone in her Kennesaw Elementary family,” praised Kennesaw Elementary Principal James Brett Ward.
Coach Adams was not the only Cobb educator who was honored by GAHPERD. In Cobb, even retired educators continue to be recognized for their impact. GAHPERD awarded the Advocate of the Year award to Mamie Pruitt, who retired from teaching in Cobb Schools after 39 years. She retired from Austell Elementary School but had helped open four elementary schools across her decades of service. As a Physical Education Specialist, she organized Jump Rope, tumbling teams, walking clubs, and school Safety Patrol organizations. She was the school coordinator for Jump Rope for Heart, March of Dimes, US School Tennis, and American Cancer organizations. Coach Pruitt also oversaw the construction of a free fitness and walking track at Austell Elementary School. She also designed the school’s Sport Court. The long-serving Cobb educator was named Teacher of the Year five times and established the Mamie Pruitt Educational Assistance Scholarship Fund.
Last year, Palmer Middle School teacher Kristen Cross was named Georgia’s Middle School PE Teacher of the Year for the second time. Earlier this year, the American Heart Association named Cobb Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale Superintendent of the Year for his commitment to ending cardiovascular disease, the nation’s number one killer, through the Association’s in-school programs. The American Heart Association also named Cobb Online Learning Academy PE teacher Alesha Whitaker the American Heart Challenge Rookie of the Year for the high school level.