Dr. Erin Centeio, in the UH Mānoa College of Education Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science (KRS), has been selected as President-Elect of the Western District for the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America. Founded in 1885, SHAPE is the voice for more than 200,000 health and physical education professionals nationally, having served as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country.
A Health and Physical Education (HPE) Associate Professor at KRS, Centeio was also appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Science Board in 2020.
“Erin is not only a vital member of the HPE Teacher Preparation faculty within KRS, but she is also a nationally respected leader in the field of Health and Physical Education,” said KRS Chair Cris Stickley. “I can think of no one better to represent the University of Hawaiʻi in serving in such an important role within her profession.”
One of five districts of SHAPE America, the Western District is dedicated to furthering the mission and vision of the organization within Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaiʻi, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Centeio was voted as President-Elect by the members of these states.
Centeio shared, “I am excited to join the leadership team of SHAPE America’s Western District. It has always been important to me to give back to the profession that has given me so much. My passion centers around preparing pre-service teachers who are culturally relevant and have the desire to become quality health and physical education teachers so that they can have an impact on the lives of PK–12 students.”
With early plans to become a physical therapist, Centeio says her experiences as a student volunteer for the Illinois State health and PE organization, as well as her student teaching experiences, resulted in a career track change and love of the teaching profession.
“I hope that my expertise both in the K–12 setting and higher education will help contribute to the great work that is already being done,” Centeio concluded. “It is a goal of mine to help states work together to leverage collective advocacy and help them grow their own organizations, and in turn, grow participation in SHAPE America.”
As part of her role on the board, Centeio will help provide professional development opportunities, share free resources from across the country, help states and teachers advocate for the importance of health and PE, and promote best practices and successes through social media.
COE Dean Nathan Murata stated, “Congratulations to Dr. Erin Centeio on her appointment as President-Elect of SHAPE America, Western District. Her selection for this prestigious position with the largest health and physical education/physical activity organization in the United States is significant. Dr. Centeio is a well-respected scholar, physical education teacher educator, and colleague to many. We are proud of her accomplishments and know she will lead with passion, enthusiasm and humility.”