Lisa Mundy graduated from Henderson State University in 1996 with a degree in secondary physical education. She now lives in Bryant. Mundy is an active alumna who was just recently awarded the inaugural Spirit Squad Alumni Member of the Year Award. Mundy is a great supporter of the spirit squads, and she previously supported the Alumni Association as a member of the Alumni Board from 1997-1999.
When did you attend Henderson and in what activities did you participate?
I attended Henderson beginning the fall of 1991 through December 1996. I was a member of the Dance Company, Reddie Pom Squad, Heart and Key, and a student athletic trainer for the volleyball team.
What was your major? What prompted you to pursue your particular degree?
I was a secondary physical education major, with a small stint as a double major in recreation for athletic training. Back then, elementary physical education was an add-on, not part of the degree plan. Health was not an automatic certification field either, my minor was English.
Why did you choose Henderson?
I chose Henderson quite by accident. My plans were to further pursue dance out of state. When auditions rolled around for the various college and universities I had applied, I was too burned out to continue. I knew the Henderson campus, I knew Arkadelphia, and felt that it would be a great place to continue my academics after high school, with the intent of transferring out to specialize in dance. I loved it so much, I stayed! (More of the story: As my parents are originally from Arkadelphia, my mother’s family were Ouachitonians; my grandmother had been the director of their library for decades. But, how things progress, my great-uncle decreed that the family would pull support from across the ravine. My generation was the first NOT to attend OBU.
What is your hometown? From what high school did you graduate and in what year?
Bryant, Arkansas, Bryant High School, 1991
What is your current occupation and your primary focus? Briefly describe what you do.
I am 11 months into my new career and job. I am the Coordinated School Health Director for the Arkansas Department of Education.
I oversee the Coordinated School Health program, offering professional development opportunities to school staff; link schools with evidenced-based physical education and health education curricula and programming; offer technical assistance in the development of comprehensive school wellness policies; and provide a network of national and state partners that offer resources, programming and funding opportunities which help to create a healthy and safe environment for students to be engaged in learning.
Please “chart” your education and career progression since you graduated Henderson. And what are your future plans?
Benton Public Schools:
• Piloted the elementary physical education program at Angie Grant Elementary and Howard Perrin Elementary (1997-2004)
• Benton Junior High dance and cheer assistant director (1997-1999)
Bryant Public Schools:
• Collegeville Elementary (2004-2007)
• Hurricane Creek Elementary (2007-2017): HCE Teams of Tomorrow Dribbling Team, District and Building Wellness Team, Parental Involvement Chair, Leadership Team,
• Child Wellness Intervention Project Grantee 2010
• Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year 2015
• Bryant High School assistant swim and springboard dive coach
• SPARK physical education trainer for Kindergarten – 2nd grade
Continue my new work to fill in the gaps that PE, health, and school health needs of students and staff are met
How has your degree benefited you in your career progression?
It helped me ask the “why” for my lessons and coaching. The “why” helped students understand the need to be active and to care for one another. Now, the “why” demonstrates that there are so many pieces to educating a child and to help the teachers with their instruction.
What aspect of your degree/career most interests you and what do you enjoy most about your profession?
As a teacher, I loved the AHA moments when the skill I was leading was understood! It isn’t’ all about rolling the ball out anymore, PE is really about life skills. Not just active ones, but how to related to others. Now, my enjoyment is gathering information for teachers and staff that help them in the classroom and gym.
Would you recommend your degree track at Henderson, and why? Any advice for current students?
Don’t learn just the basic information to be a coach or teacher. Ask why is it relevant to the students, how can they apply it for themselves. Learn how the body works and really understand the movement analysis part. My students got the most AHA moments when I broke down the movements of a skill for them. BE DESCRIPTIVE!
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you related to your degree since you graduated from Henderson?
Receiving Teacher of the Year would be first, second is my current job!
If someone asked you to describe yourself, what would you say? Could you share something that most people don’t know about you?
Passionate about physical education and health, loyal, supportive
Something most people don’t know….. There’s not much that my friends don’t already know. I do not follow professional sports, only D2, NAIA schools and high school.
What other degree did you consider pursuing?
I started my sports administration, but then life happened. I may finish, or switch to educational leadership, curriculum and instruction
Please list any awards or honors.
Society of Health and Physical Education-Arkansas Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year 2015 and Spirit Squad Alumni of the Year