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Lisa Perry

Senior National Advisor, Health & Physical Education, Physical Activity, Employee Wellness

Lisa has developed and implemented strategies and training to support teachers, schools, and districts to utilize best practices for physical activity, physical education, nutrition education, and tobacco prevention.

Her previous experience includes 15 years as a physical educator. Prior to joining the Alliance, Lisa served as the Senior Consultant for physical activity, nutrition, tobacco, and sun safety for the Colorado Department of Education. She also worked as an exercise physiologist at a health and weight management center for overweight women, where she provided instruction on the principles of exercise, strength training, physical activity, and behavior modification.

In her leisure time, she enjoys archery, backpacking, biking, fly-fishing, horseback riding and training and other outdoor pursuits in western Colorado. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and her Master of Education degree in Health and Human Performance from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.


Q&A with Lisa

1. What has brought you and kept you in this line of work?

Well, it’s a long story…my parents weren’t in favor of me getting a degree in physical education, so I earned a BA in Journalism and then went back and earned my master’s degree in health and human performance while a graduate assistant in the Sports Information Department of my university. I have been coaching and teaching basketball, swimming and baseball/softball since I was in high school and have always wanted to share my love of physical activity with others.

2. Why schools or out-of-school time?

When you look at what a kid’s work is, it is going to school. We keep kids in school most of their waking hours. If we can provide youth the opportunity to experience a wide range of physical activities when they are young, they are more likely to be active as they grow older.

3. On the rare, almost nonexistent, occurrence when you’re not being healthy, what is your guilty pleasure?

Chopping and slicing vegetables so I can eat them throughout the day. Seriously, riding my bike to the local Cold Stone Creamery and having a “like it size” cake batter and cookie dough ice cream.

4. Are there any changes or developments in the school or out-of-school time health space that have caught your attention and you are excited to see continued?

More schools are creating environments that are welcoming and conducive to in-school physical activity. Parents, teachers and administrators are starting to understand and accept the value of movement and how activity helps youth be healthier and learn better.

5. If you were just starting to make healthy change at your school or out-of-school time setting, what would be the first thing on your to do list?

I can’t choose just one. The first three things on my list are 1—Hire a qualified physical educator and 2—ensure that the physical educator works with classroom teachers to make movement a part of their classes. The third thing on my list would be to make time for physical activity EVERY day.

6. Do you have any “unique” physical activity practices (e.g. do you partake in roller derby)?

That’s a tough question—I live in Colorado, so my physical activity changes with the seasons. I prefer outdoor activities and that list includes: archery, backpacking, fly-fishing, hiking, running, inline skating, downhill and cross-country skiing and horse training and riding.

7. What is your favorite part of your job?

Just as when I taught school, I like to see “the light bulb come on.” When teachers find a positive benefit in what I can provide, I believe that I have not only changed the way they teach, but the way their students learn. I subscribe to a philosophy of paying it forward. I have been fortunate over my career to learn from many talented physical educators; if I can only pass on a portion of what has been given to me, I am successful.