Bulletin News

Physical Education Chair Presides Over Association


Lynn Couturier of Groton, N.Y., recently was elected president of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), the preeminent national authority on physical education and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity.

She was named president during NASPE’s national convention in Indianapolis, Ind.

Couturier, who chairs SUNY Cortland’s Physical Education Department, will oversee the nonprofit professional education association based in Reston, Va., which has a mission to enhance knowledge, improve professional practice, and increase support for high quality physical education, sport and physical activity programs. NASPE is the largest of the five national associations that comprise the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).

“Since its inception, NASPE has been setting the professional standards for our field and promoting the importance of quality physical education, sport and physical activity experiences,” Couturier said. “My professional life has been committed to these same ideas so it’s truly an honor for me to serve as president of this organization.” 

The organization’s 15,000 members come from the ranks of K-12 physical education teachers, coaches, athletic directors, sport management professionals, researchers, and college/university faculty who prepare physical activity professionals. NASPE advocates for the critical importance of daily physical activity by everyone to improve school or work performance and health.

As a national spokesperson for NASPE, Couturier also will address the association’s role in advancing the professions it serves, as well as advocating for quality sport, physical activity and physical education programs to tackle obesity in children and health-related problems.

On April 14-15, she hosted a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., where Howell Wechsler, director of the Division of Adolescent and School Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released new research findings showing the positive impact of school-based physical education and physical activity on academic achievement. NASPE will announce a new campaign called “Let’s Move in Schools.”   

Prior to joining SUNY Cortland in 2008, Couturier’s positions in higher education involved teaching, coaching and administration.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in physical education from Springfield College in 1981, she received a master’s degree in biomechanics from the University of Illinois. She returned to Springfield College for her doctorate in physical education and recently completed a master’s degree in American studies from Trinity College.

Couturier’s personal commitment and willingness to serve includes being the chair of the AAHPERD Structure and Function Committee and a member of the NASPE Initial Physical Education Teacher Education Standards Review Committee. She is a lead reviewer for NASPE/National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation and has served as a reviewer for Strategies. Couturier chaired the NASPE Coaches Council and was a member of the Coaching Education Task Force.                 

She has served in several capacities for the National Council of Accreditation of Coaching Education, including chair of Reviewer Training and chair of the Task Force for Guidelines Revisions. Couturier also has served the AAHPERD Eastern District as vice president for recreation and chair of numerous committees. She was recognized for her service to the district with the EDA Honor Award.

Recently, her papers were published in The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and The International Journal of the History of Sport. Couturier has given presentations at the state, district and national level.