Hoover City Schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy was named the Alabama State Association for Physical Education, Recreation and Dance’s Administrator of the Year for 2019 at the association’s annual fall conference.
A former physical education educator, Murphy appeared before a crowd dotted with familiar faces from her past and present at the event, held Nov. 17-18, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover.
Murphy presented the Mabel C. Robinson Lecture at the association’s conference and recounted her lifelong love of physical activity.
“The most important subject taught at our schools is physical education,” Murphy said. “And all of the auxiliary and ancillary courses that go along with that: health, wellness, fitness, dance and all the stuff we do within recreation.”
From an early age, Murphy loved sports and would often create games to play by herself, as her younger sister did not like sports.
“Any time we would go to the five-and-ten store, my absolute favorite things to buy with what little money I had was a red rubber softball,” Murphy said. She would throw the ball against the house, playing a one-person game of catch.
She went on to study physical education at Troy State University and to a graduate teaching assistantship at Auburn University at Montgomery. She then completed a master’s degree at Auburn University.
Her teaching career began at Auburn Junior High School, teaching physical education, followed by Judson College.
After Judson, she moved on to University of West Georgia and worked throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area supervising and mentoring student teachers.
At the end of her speech, Murphy addressed the crowd of physical education teachers in attendance at her lecture.
“There are some days that I’d love to go back to physical education, and I’d love to get out in my schools more and be in those PE classrooms; because what you do is important,” Murphy said. “What you do is vitally important because children who are not healthy don’t learn well. Children who don’t eat well don’t perform well. Never underestimate the importance of what you do in your school.”
– Emily Williams