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MAHPERD Honors 6 Maine Undergrads as Outstanding Future Professionals

The Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) recently honored six Maine students as Outstanding Future Professionals.

The award recognizes Maine undergraduate students for their accomplishments as higher education students studying Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; for their involvement in university organizations; contributions to the community; professional potential/leadership qualities; and individual accomplishments, honors, and awards.

Outstanding Future Professionals Awardees:

Curtis ShepardCurtis Shepard University of New England

Curtis is a senior at the University of New England, majoring in Sport and Recreation Management. He has worked at Vermont Lake Monsters, a summer league collegiate baseball team, in various positions to gain experience in a variety of management roles and responsibilities. He has also interned at the University of New England Athletic Department where he gained daily experience with different operations and functions of NCAA Division III Athletics. Curtis is looking forward to participating in more leadership and volunteer positions in sport and recreation in the future.

One of Curtis’s professors wrote that, “Curtis is one of the most diligent and responsible students. He is always curious and eager to learn and is never in a bad mood. He’s the first to volunteer to answer a question or work in a group. He brings a positive influence to the class.”

Jonah HudsonJonah Hudson University of Maine at Presque Isle

Jonah is a junior at the University of Maine at Presque Isle majoring in Physical Education. Jonah has been the Vice President of the Physical Education Major’s club for the last three years, he has played on the men’s soccer team for 2 years, and played on the men’s basketball team for a year. Jonah also coaches JV High School Softball and Soccer and substitute teaches at MSAD #1 (which consists of students from Presque Isle, Mapleton, Chapman, Castle Hill, and Westfield). Jonah also was captain of three sports and participated in Drama Club in high school.

A professor of Jonah’s wrote that, “Jonah is certainly one of the most dedicated and hardworking young men I have ever had the privilege of working with here at the University. He is an outstanding role model to both his fellow students as well as his teammates on the field.”

Savannah RodriguezSavannah Rodriguez University of Maine at Presque Isle

Savannah is a junior at the University of Maine at Presque Isle majoring in Physical Education (PE). Savannah participates in various ways at the University and in the community. She has been on the Women’s Soccer team for the last three years and is the head of the Softball Program at the University. She has also filled the role of President and VP of the PE Majors Club on campus as well as being a member of the Leadership Committee. In the community, Savannah has volunteered at the Special Olympics, Northern Maine Fair, and at different schools as a classroom helper, in addition to coaching at Wildcat Soccer and Basketball Camps. In the school year of 2019-2020, she received the award for Female Break Through Athlete of the Year.

Her professor wrote that, “Savannah has been an active leader in both our athletic and academic programs. She is the type of person who will see what needs to be done and will do everything in her power to see that the job is completed to the best of her ability. She is certainly a true leader in every sense of the word.”

Matt FarnhamMatt Farnham University of Maine at Orono

Matt is a Senior at the University of Maine at Orono majoring in Physical Education and Coaching. He is a member of Maine’s Gamma Omicron chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, which is an international honors society for education majors. Matt has been a long-term Physical Education substitute for the Patricia A. Duran school in Hermon where he has taught virtual lessons for 4th grade students and in-person lessons for grades 1 through 3. Prior to this position, he was an Ed-Tech in the Hermon School Department. In addition to working in the school, Matt has worked as an assistant coach for the Hermon football team for the last 8 years. Three of those years he coached the 7th & 8th grade team while the other 5 years he coached the Hermon High School varsity team. Matt has also worked as the program leader in Hermon’s Recreation Department for the last 8 years where he has organized camp-wide activities for campers aged 5-14.

A professor of his wrote that, “Matthew has repeatedly demonstrated leadership, professionalism, innovation, and dedication to the profession. His instructional skills, dispositions, and high personal standards drive him to excel in any situation.”

Sierra McLellanSierra McLellan University of Maine at Orono

Sierra is a senior at the University of Maine at Orono majoring in Kinesiology. Sierra was appointed the position of Panhellenic Delegate for Alpha Phi Fraternity her freshman year at UMaine. She was a member of the Executive Council where she was able to contribute valuable opinions, ideas, and content to represent her chapter to the rest of the Greek community. She was appointed to VP of the Membership Recruitment for Alpha Phi her Sophomore and Junior year where she could engage and empower others in joining. To top it all off, Sierra was a founding member of the Physical Education Student Organization at UMaine to promote health and wellness on campus and in the Orono community. These accomplishments have allowed Sierra to participate in other community events such as BOKS (Build Our Kid’s Success), hosting the annual Healthy High 5k and 10k race, and leading morning physical activity at the local elementary schools with UMaine athletic teams and future Physical Educators.

One of her professors wrote that, “Sierra is positive, compassionate, organized, and disciplined. These qualities have helped drive her success here and will catapult her to new heights as she prepares for a professional career in teaching.”

Maddie CormierMaddie Cormier St. Joseph’s College

Maddie has worked in different elementary schools in Bangor as an Ed-Tech for 3 years when she is on break. She has volunteered at elementary schools, been an organizer for a fair fundraiser, as well as participated in other community based projects such as Fitter than a Fifth Grader, worked with Teens to Trails, and observed Physical Education classes in Bangor elementary schools and Windham High School. Maddie is on the Women’s soccer team at St. Joseph’s College. With a deep passion for coaching, Maddie has spent the past two years coaching 7 and 8 year old players in the Bangor Soccer Club. In addition to all that, she also received the Triumph of Diversity Presentation in 2021.

A professor of Maddi’s wrote that, “she is a highly motivated, successful individual. It was evident from the first meeting that Maddi was goal oriented and going to have a positive impact on anything she set out to do. She is a true team player on and off the field and is outstanding with students. She is a truly dedicated and committed individual.”

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