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Posted March 29, 2012

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Painted Sky PE Teacher Gets National Recognition

Ulrike Kerstges receives the National Jump Rope for Heart Coordinator Award.

Ulrike Kerstges, a PE teacher at Painted Sky Elementary, received the National Jump Rope for Heart Coordinator Award at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) convention in Boston during spring break. She received the award because, throughout her 14 years as a Jump Rope for Heart event coordinator, she has demonstrated dedication and leadership at state and national levels.

Kerstges was born and raised in Germany where she finished her undergraduate degree in physical education and theology. In 1982, she attended the University of New Mexico as an exchange student. She decided to stay in New Mexico, where she received a teaching assistantship and her doctoral degree.

She immediately became involved with New Mexico AHPERD and signed up to coordinate a Jump Rope for Heart event. Currently, she serves on the Southwest District AAHPERD board and is past-president of the national organization as well as a Jump Rope for Heart state coordinator.

Kerstges was named the Teacher of the Year for the Southwest District in 2007 and has conducted many workshops within and outside New Mexico. She has worked closely with the American Heart Assocation to promote Jump Rope for the Heart programs across the state. 

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