NHEW 2021: COVID-19 Classroom Chat: RE-Adapting to the Classroom in 2021

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Includes a Live Event on 10/18/2021 at 4:00 PM (EDT)

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After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, school staff and students will be making the return to school and return to work this 2021-2022 school year. For School Health Day during National Health Education Week 2021, SOPHE invites a panel of school health experts from a national perspective to a higher education perspective to share their experiences with re-adapting to the classroom. Topics may include addressing mental health challenges, describing experiences with being back in person (and release of the new guidance), and tackling the barriers that come with reacclimating to the school environment. (This topic focuses on teaching/return to school at the K-12 level.)

Learning Objectives:

1. Discuss the challenges K-12 teachers face and essential health education skills for the 2021-22 school year. (1.3.2)
2. Identify the environmental factors that teachers have or must address for a safe return to the 2021-22 school year (1.3.3)

Dr. Deborah Fortune, PhD


North Carolina Central University

Deborah A. Fortune, Ph.D., MCHES, is an associate professor in the Department of Health Education at North Carolina Central University and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. Prior to her current position, Dr. Fortune was the director of the National HIV & CSHE Project with the American Association for Health Education. She has been a faculty member at the following institutions: East Tennessee State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Marymount University. Dr. Fortune received her B.S. degree in Biology from Mississippi University for Women, M.S. degree in Community Health Education from the University of Southern Mississippi, and her Ph.D. in Public Health Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Fortune has provided instructor training in comprehensive school health education (Growing Healthy curriculum and Teenage Health Teaching Modules), HIV/AIDS for African Americans, youth violence prevention, and cultural diversity in health education. Her research interests include HIV and sexual health among African American college women, youth violence prevention, professional preparation in health education, and faculty and youth mentoring. She has published and made numerous presentations on those topics.

Chelsea Chappell, MS, CHES®

Doctoral Student

University of Florida

Chelsea Chappell, MS, CHES, is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Education & Behavior at the University of Florida.  For three years, Chelsea has served as the Director of SHIP, the School Health Interdisciplinary Program.  After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Chelsea is preparing college student volunteers and working with school staff to return to the schools and resume health education programming with elementary-aged youth in Alachua County, Florida.  

Kayce Solari Williams, PhD, MPH, MS

Clinical Assistant Professor, Co-Owner, Co-Investigator, and President

University of Houston in the Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, Be Well Health Resources, LLC, NIH, and American School Health Association

Over the past 23 years, Dr. Kayce D. Solari Williams has taught at the K-12 and higher education levels. She has been a dance, physical education, and theater teacher in Aldine ISD, Fort Bend ISD, and Houston ISD. She is currently a clinical assistant professor at the University of Houston in the Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, co-owner of Be Well Health Resources, LLC, Co-investigator on NIH-funded cancer and health disparities research training grant, and president of the American School Health Association. Her education and work experiences focus on the human body. She promotes movement that is natural, challenging, and rewarding. She is dedicated to teaching and training future health professionals using innovative and inspiring in-class and virtual techniques as well as providing students with service learning opportunities locally and abroad.

William Potts-Datema

President and Consultant

Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, and Missouri State University Alumni Association

Dr. William Potts-Datema has served in education and public health for 39 years, including service from local to international levels. He has held a number of national leadership positions including Chief of the Program Development and Services Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health, Director of Partnerships for Children’s Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, and Executive Director of the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education in Washington, DC.

He serves as President of the Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education, Secretary and board member of the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, and board member of the Missouri State University Alumni Association. He previously served on the international boards of ASCD (formerly, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) and the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE); the national boards of the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), American School Health Association (ASHA), and American Association for Health Education (AAHE); and as chair of the national board and a founding board member of Action for Healthy Kids. He is a fellow of ASHA and AAHE and a member of Delta Omega national public health honorary society

Vito Borrello

Executive Director

National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement

Vito J. Borrello is the first Executive Director for the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE), appointed in September 2014. Since its founding, NAFSCE has addressed systemic issues to advance family, school, and community engagement as a strategy for child development, student achievement, and school improvement. Initiatives include Reframing the Family Engagement Conversation and the establishment of the National Alliance for Family Engagement; the 18-state State Consortium on Family Engagement in partnership with the Council for Chief State School Officers; and its Family Engagement Consortium on Pre-service Educator Preparation. Prior to his current position, Mr. Borrello served as the 19-year president of Every Person Influences Children, a New York-based organization providing parenting education, and family engagement in education programs. Current National Advisory Board Member roles include Scholastic and the Center for Education Equity. Recent previous national roles include membership on the National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group; and two completed terms as both an Appointed and At-Large Board Member for National PTA, where he also served on committees for finance, legislation, resource development, strategic planning, and leadership recruitment. He is co-founder and Chairman of Emeritus for the NY State Family Engagement Coalition. 

Prior to his NAFSCE appointment, Mr. Borrello was Chairman of the NY State PTA Urban Initiatives Task Force, Steering Committee member of the NY State Parenting Education Partnership, and a past appointee to NY State Education Department workgroups for Teacher Standards, Striving Readers, and Safe Schools. In his home community of Western New York, Mr. Borrello is a past Board Member for the State University of NY at Buffalo's Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention; past Chairman for the Care Management Coalition of Western New York, and past Board member for Buffalo's Read to Succeed literacy initiative. He is a graduate of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York Fellowship program and a 1998 graduate of Leadership Buffalo. Mr. Borrello has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Wittenberg University and resides in East Amherst, New York with his wife, Maria, and has two daughters, Marisa and Samantha. He commutes to the NAFSCE offices located in Alexandria, Virginia.


10/18/2021 at 4:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
10/18/2021 at 4:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
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