Longtime Rim Country Middle School physical education teacher and track and field coach Randy Wilcox enjoyed the thrill of a lifetime at an Arizona Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance convention.
During the 75th annual event held Sept. 21 and 22 in Phoenix, Wilcox was able to talk track with Lucinda Adams, a gold medalist from the 1960 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. Adams ran the third leg of the 4x100 relay team passing the baton to famed teammate Wilma Rudolph.
During her career, Adams also broke an American record in the 220-yard dash and won three gold medals in the 1958 Pan American Games in Chicago.
"What a thrill it was to shake hands and hug an Olympic hero," Wilcox said. "I would have loved to talk to her more, but she was so popular. Everyone was trying to have a few minutes with her."
Adams was at the convention to deliver the keynote address.
Also attending the convention from PUSD were physical education teachers Stacy Anderson, Richard Ormand, Donna Moore, Judy Perham and Jackie Wallace. More than 400 teachers and health professionals from around the state attended.
Moore, a PE teacher at Julia Randall Elementary School and the coach of the Club Rim volleyball team, was a presenter at the convention. Her presentation was "Ideas for Working with ELL Student in the PE Setting." Moore also served as the 2006 AzAHPERD convention manager.
Moore said, the highlights of the convention were the presence of Adams and AzAHPERD President Carole Brady's speech that encouraged teachers to take the knowledge they had gained at the convention and help "Lead the Way to a Healthier Arizona."
Moore also assured parents that PUSD PE teachers are helping students understand the importance of physical fitness in their everyday lives.
"Every PE teacher is providing a quality program to help increase students' health-related fitness, physical competence, self-confidence, personal responsibility, understanding of safety in physical activity and the ability to connect to other subjects," she said.