Artie Kamiya | The Godfather of #PhysEd

To say that Artie Kamiya has dedicated his life to his profession would be a massive understatement. This man has had a massive impact not only on the students who were lucky enough to have him as their teacher, but indirectly tens of thousands of children and youth who’s teachers were lucky enough to meet him. Artie could very easily be considered the “Godfather of #PhysEd.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Artie was overweight as an elementary school child, and he was often subjected to many of the negative aspects of traditional physical education. However, he was fortunate to have been encouraged through a strong junior high physical education program and slowly became interested in the sport of gymnastics. He competed in high school, collegiate level (Los Angeles City College, Cal State LA), and at the 1972 National NCAA Gymnastics Championships on the rings.

Upon receiving a Masters of Art in Teaching (MAT) degree from the University of North Carolina, he worked as an elementary physical education teacher for Wake County Public Schools (Raleigh, NC). While in this position, he was able to become involved in curriculum writing, presenting, and other leadership activities. In 1983, he was hired by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as a Physical Education Consultant. In 1996, he was promoted to the Section Chief for Arts and Healthful Living. In this position, he directed a group of 11 professionals representing the Arts (Music, Dance, Visual Arts, Theatre Arts) and Healthful Living (Health, Physical Education, Athletics, Driver Education).

From 2001-2005, he was the Senior Administrator for K-12 Healthful Living Education for Wake County Schools. Artie was recognized in 2004 as the National Physical Education Administrator of the Year. He has been called one of the “nation’s leading experts for K-12 health and physical education.”

He is the President & Founder of the Great Activities Publishing Company, a company known for their innovative K-12 PE publications, services, and workshops.  His work has appeared on numerous ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox TV affiliates, as well as on National Public Radio and in USA Today.

He retired from public service in 2005, but continued to follow his passion as a health and physical education advocate through his work within the Great Activities Publishing Company. He was recognized by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education as the 2007 “Joy of Effort” Award winner. He and his family live in Durham, North Carolina.

I first met Artie when he invited me to be a keynote speaker at the National PE and School Sport Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. Artie is wise, warm, generous and always puts others before himself. Sit back relax and enjoy a conversation with Artie Kamiya.

The PhysEdcast is a collection of stories from around the #PhysEd world to inspire and innovate your practice. Join host Nathan Horne from iPhys-Ed.com as he explores the world of physical education and coaching. You can subscribe and listen to the PhysEdcast on any good podcast provider. Click here to listen and subscribe now.


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