A Heart for Giving Back
Middle school PE teacher, dedicated basketball coach, and recent graduate of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences (EHHS), Ramon Salinas, combines his grit for health & fitness and passion for teaching in his everyday work.
Salinas didn’t always picture himself as an educator. He tried degrees from athletic training to computer science, but these didn’t seem to fit.
“I then thought back to what I loved most in school and some of the people that influenced me to be the person I was at that moment in my life,” Salinas said. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher.”
As a teacher and coach in rural Idaho, Salinas strives to make a positive difference in today’s youth by following the example of his favorite teacher.
“When Mr. Colunga left my junior year of high school I actually cried,” he said. “I realized how much of an impact this one person had on my life, and I wanted to be that positive influence for kids one day, like Mr. Colunga was for me.”
Salinas attended the Society of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) conference shortly before graduating from EHHS. The perpetual Elsie Krey and Richard I. Matthews Endowment, as well as the SHAPE Idaho Travel Grant, gave Salinas and his peers the chance to attend.
“Students had the opportunity to give workshops and get our name out there in the physical and health education communities,” Salinas said. “It was at the most recent conference I was able to network with my now co-worker and get my job.”
“I realized how much of an impact this one person had on my life, and I wanted to be that positive influence for kids one day...”
Cate Egan, Ph.D., EHHS Physical Education Professor, says jobs and student teaching placements are the result of these opportunities made possible by donor monies.
“The monies have allowed my students to travel to multiple national conferences with me; Nashville, TN, Tampa, FL, and this spring, Salt Lake City,” Egan said. “The money has also allowed me to take students to three state conferences in Pocatello, Boise, and Lewiston.”
Salinas is grateful for the opportunities made possible by professors, donor monies, conferences and EHHS Department of Movement Sciences. “I am proud to be a graduate of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences because it is unique from other programs in the state,” Salinas said. “I feel like this department really set me up for success in my career.”
By Melanie Leija, for College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences