The Pasadena ISD Office of Health and Wellness has cause for celebration as two of their employees have been recognized statewide for excellence in physical and health education.
Pam Tevis and Angela Rubio were named Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) award recipients for making a difference in the lives of students and families in the community.
The CATCH program is a school-based health initiative designed to promote physical activity, healthy eating and wellness among students and their families.
Each year, the organization honors individuals across the state who have gone above and beyond to create healthy environments for students. This year, Rubio is one of six individuals who will be honored as a CATCH Champion for finding innovative ways to make health and wellness part of the district’s culture. Tevis has been chosen to receive the Living Legacy Award which honors the achievements of a past CATCH Champion who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in implementing the program throughout the community.
Tevis has served the district for 30 years, first as a teacher and coach at Park View Intermediate, then as assistant director of the Health, Physical Education, Wellness and Athletics department. She continues to serve in the department as a coordinator.
Shortly after taking the position, Tevis was tasked with finding a coordinated school health program that could incorporate health and wellness into school curriculum and satisfy newly adopted state mandates. Working with the school board, administrators and the School Health Advisory Council (comprised of parents, community partners and district staff), the district opted for CATCH, proven by researchers to be one of the most effective childhood obesity prevention programs. Her efforts have led to the successful implementation of CATCH curriculum at each elementary, middle and intermediate school in the district.
Tevis’ work has not gone unnoticed. In 2008, she received the Outstanding District Coordinator award for the Steps Consortium CATCH Project, providing funding for curriculum and training for each campus. In 2010, Tevis was also awarded a Carol White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant totaling $2.54 million to support coordinated school health efforts for grades K-12.
“Movement anchors learning,” Tevis said. “Through this curriculum, health and wellness is becoming a natural part of students’ lives. We are now able to use action-based learning to teach math, history, science and language arts in a way that engages students and helps them strengthen cognitive abilities and their bodies.”
That same year, Tevis was also named a CATCH Champion.
Pasadena ISD alumna, Rubio was hired to serve as a PEP coordinator to manage the grant. As coordinator, she was responsible for planning and implementing all wellness initiatives, partner programs, training and data collection related to the grant. In 2013, Rubio moved into the position of coordinated school health specialist where she oversees the overall operation of the K-12 coordinated school health program including all curriculum, professional development, supporting extra-curricular activities and technical assistance. In addition, she is co-chair of the district’s School Health Advisory Council.
Her dedication to enhancing health and wellness among students through the program has been recognized at the state level.
“It is an honor to work in a district that sees the value of coordinated school health and the positive impact it has on the lives of our students and families,” Rubio said. “This award was made possible with the support of district leaders who are committed to promoting healthy schools and a healthy community. I am grateful to CATCH to be recognized and will continue to dedicate my job to making healthy the norm in Pasadena ISD.”
Together, their commitment to health based learning initiatives has garnered support from the state. This school year, the district’s school health advisory council was among only five in Texas to be named an It’s Time Texas award recipient for excellence in health education instruction.
“These honors are not mine or Angela’s alone,” Tevis said. “They recognize our entire district. We could not do this without the support of the Board of Trustees, Superintendent Kirk Lewis and Deputy Superintendent Karen Hickman. That’s what coordinated school health is about – our focus is not only on academics or health and wellness. It is about incorporating health and wellness into learning and working together to nurture the whole child.”
A ceremony honoring Tevis and Rubio will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel on December 3.