What's in a Name?

We celebrate 99 years for our organization this year! (Blowing out the birthday candles on the cake may require a fire extinguisher!)  Longevity like this does not happen by luck. It’s the result of years and years of hard work and dedication from volunteers and educators sharing their time and expertise to ensure we, as a team, succeed. 

Since our beginning, PSAHPERD has been a resource, network and community connecting passionate and like-minded professionals. We work towards our vision of overall wellness in Pennsylvania by providing leadership, advocacy and professional development for health and physical educators. 

As you may recall, in 2018-2019, our Structure and Function committee along with the Executive Board worked tirelessly to design and develop a new structure and bylaws to help us operate in the most effective and efficient way possible. At the forefront of our decision making was ensuring we honor our rich past while building a future that best suits our membership today. The final piece to our organizational evolution is reviewing our name and if it best suits our new structure and membership. 

At the start of our conversations, we included a question on our 2019 conference evaluations regarding this proposed change to rename our organization SHAPE PA. While the majority of those who voted were in favor of a new name, we value the thoughts and opinions of all our members and would love to hear from you!

Why are you changing the name?
We are looking to have a name that screams who we are and can be easily recognized and tied to health and wellness by others.  We are an organization of health and physical educators who work towards overall wellness in Pennsylvania. 

What’s really in a name?
From an organizational standpoint, clear branding and identification are important. Our proposed name change is SHAPE PA: The Society of Health and Physical Educators.  It’s not only short and sweet, but it’s also a call to action. We are here to provide support to help “shape” Pennsylvanians to be their healthiest through quality health and physical education. 

Why change now?
We have found that while our current name means so much to us in the profession, it’s hard for those outside of our organization to get a grasp of who we are and what we do. We are also thrilled to partner with SHAPE America to offer a new collegial membership! The timing of this new membership along with the continuing evolution of our profession has made us take a long look at who we are internally and what we stand for externally. Particularly now with the COVID-19 crisis, we can be a strong resource for Pennsylvanians both in terms of physical and mental health and wellness and easily communicate that through a simplified organizational name that reinforces the importance of our profession. 

Please, take a moment and tell us what you think. Our decision making is always with the member in mind and your voice matters. We hope to hear from you soon!

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