Kayla “Birdie” Barbare of the University of South Carolina Upstate will be honored as Major of the Year by SHAPE America.
Some children gather around Kayla "Birdie" Barbare after a physical fitness workout.
Friends gather for a group photo.
Kayla "Birdie" Barbare puts children through a workout.
The award celebrates outstanding undergraduate students in the health, physical education, recreation and dance professions who are nominated by a faculty advisor or professor. Barbare will be receive her award on Thursday during the SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) awards ceremony in Boston.
“I am so honored to receive this award from SHAPE America and to represent USC Upstate and my hometown of Greer,” Barbare said. “I could not have accomplished this award without all the guidance and help I have received from my family, teachers, coaches, friends, and surrounding community.” Barbare graduated from Greer High School where she was a standout basketball player.
“My mission is to develop and nurture physically literate students who think critically, are responsible global citizens, celebrate diversity, strive for greatness, collaborate with others, are active leaders in their community, and who become lifelong movers,” Barbare said.
Barbare graduates in May with a B.S. in Physical Education and will pursue a master’s degree in Special Education.
“The outstanding achievements of future professionals like Kayla “Birdie” Barbare is integral to the caliber of the individuals SHAPE America is looking for to teach standards-based health and physical education programs to our nation’s children,” said SHAPE America President Jackie Lund of Georgia State University.
“I knew at a very young age that I was called to become a physical education teacher and that I was passionate about helping others develop physically, mentally, and emotionally,” Barbare said. “I was blessed to attend USC Upstate where I was challenged daily by my professors and fellow PE majors to become the best professional physical educator that I could possibly be.”
“Birdie is an exceptional physical education teacher education (PETE) major,” Jim Kamla, professor at USC Upstate. “She understands what it takes to be a great physical education teacher and models this at all times. She will make a very positive impact on our profession as well as her future students.”