Sally Rae, Director of Teacher Education at Siena Heights University, was recently honored as the University Educator of the Year by the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, a 110-year organization.
Rae is believed to be the first Siena Heights University instructor to receive the award, which recognizes exemplary teaching skills and achievements, as well as exceptional dedication and innovation in the field of education.
Rae was nominated for this award by Sister Sharon Weber, OP, Siena’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. In her letter of recommendation, Sister Sharon cited Rae’s experiences and numerous contributions to the Siena community, as well as some of her history in teaching.
“Sally certainly serves as an excellent role model. She exudes good health and fitness, and definitely shows a concern for students,” Sister Sharon said.
Rae joined the Siena Heights University faculty when she taught the Health and Movement Education for Elementary Teachers class. This class required her to prepare the next generation of teachers to develop a curriculum based on the understanding of child growth and development.
Rae’s success in teaching this class encouraged Siena Heights University to invite her back to teach in following semesters. In January 2005, she was entrusted with the role of Director of Teacher Education at Siena.
Originally from Texas, Rae began her educational career after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education and health from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She taught physical education, coordinated health education and physical education programs, and coached volleyball, softball, and basketball in various school districts in Texas before moving to Michigan.
Rae continued her education, completing her master’s degree in physical education from Eastern Michigan University in 2001. She is currently working towards her doctorate in educational leadership at EMU.
While in Texas, Rae was involved in the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. After moving to Michigan, she joined the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, of which she became president for a four-year term from 2002-05.
She said her involvement with these organizations helped prepare her for all she does at Siena. MaryAnn Rickens, past president of MAHPERD, said it is only fitting Rae received this award for all of her efforts.
“I am thrilled to death about receiving this award. It is very exciting, and I am proud to accept it,” Rae said.
Pictured above: MaryAnn Rickens (at left), past president of the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, visited campus Dec. 6 to present Siena Heights University’s Sally Rae (right) with the University Educator of the Year Award. Rae, the Director of Teacher Education at Siena, officially received the award in November at the organization’s state convention.