News Archives: School of Education

HPU hosts fourth-annual Spring into Health Fair

Ellises and BuzzsawBROWNWOOD – March 24, 2017 – Howard Payne University recently held its fourth-annual Spring into Health Fair which included health screenings, demonstrations, exhibits, games and a variety of giveaways for HPU students, faculty and staff.

Among the new events this year was a relay on campus featuring HPU representatives Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU president and first lady; Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, dean of the School of Education; Braxton Harris, head football coach; Hunter Sims, athletic director; and Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer.

Following the race, the Honorable Stephen Haynes, Brownwood mayor, and Draco Miller, mayor pro tem, addressed the crowd about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

The event was organized by Teresa Cavitt, adjunct instructor in HPU’s School of Education and student in the university’s Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership degree program.

“The health fair was a collaborative effort by so many campus leaders also known as ‘wellness champions,’” she said. “It wouldn’t have been the success that it was without their efforts.”


Cutline: HPU’s Spring into Health Fair featured a relay among HPU representatives. Drs. Bill and Diana Ellis, HPU president and first lady, posed with Buzzsaw, the university’s Yellow Jacket mascot, following the race.

HPU’s Sport and Wellness Leadership accepting applications for fall 2017

HPU SWELL at FCABROWNWOOD – March 9, 2017 – Howard Payne University is seeking applicants for the second cohort of graduate students in the university’s Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) degree program. The group will begin classes in August, and the first cohort of 18 students will finish degree requirements this spring.

The SWELL program at HPU seeks to prepare future leaders for the $4-trillion sport and wellness industries. The program consists of 10 classes over 20 months, most of which are held on Monday evenings. Courses include instruction in event planning, public relations, legal foundations, leadership and more.

“We are seeking another fine group of future leaders who are committed to enhancing the quality of life for those impacted by the sport and wellness industries,” said Dr. Graham Hatcher, SWELL program director. “Several of our program participants are in new careers that have become available by participation in this program.”

A distinctive feature of the program is the two-week travel course in June 2018, which will enable students to engage sport and wellness industry leaders throughout the United States.

“Last summer, we visited more than 20 venues including the National Collegiate Athletic Association offices in Indianapolis, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Support Center in Kansas City, the Center for Disease Control offices in Colorado Springs and the National Wellness Institute’s annual meeting in Minneapolis,” said Dr. Hatcher.

The coursework, travel and HPU’s Christ-centered academic community make the affordable SWELL program a unique offering among master’s programs in the United States.

For more information about the program, e-mail or call 325-649-8966. Applications for admissions and consideration for graduate assistantships in intramurals, outdoor recreation and department administration/instruction are available online at


Cutline: Students in HPU’s Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership degree program are pictured at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Support Center in Kansas City.

HPU athletic training students compete at SWATA workshop

SWATA team 2017 BROWNWOOD – February 27, 2017 – Seven Howard Payne University students majoring in athletic training participated in the ninth annual Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association (SWATA) competency workshop and quiz bowl at the end of January. The event took place on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos.

HPU students who attended the conference were senior Ruth Davis from Cibolo, senior Corey Martinez from Bangs, senior Dezeray Tafte from Eastland, senior Elizabeth Fargo from Saginaw, senior William Rangel-Alfaro from San Antonio, junior Dustin Bachus from Edna and junior Ariana Rehm from Uhland.

This was the first time all HPU athletic training upperclassmen were able to participate in this event. HPU is one of 17 professional athletic training programs in SWATA, which includes graduate and undergraduate programs from Texas and Arkansas. The workshop is designed to increase the students’ professional and clinical skills as well as help them prepare for the certification exam.

The quiz bowl is a competition in the style of a game show made up of teams of three from accredited schools in SWATA. HPU’s team consisted of seniors Davis, Martinez and Tafte. They competed with teams from universities including The University of Texas, Texas State University, Texas A&M University, Hardin-Simmons University, Baylor University, The University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Lutheran University. The winning team from the quiz bowl gets the opportunity to compete in a similar competition at the National Athletic Trainers Association meeting this summer.

“I am really proud of our quiz bowl team,” said Mike Terrill, director of HPU’s Athletic Training Education Program. “They competed very well and represented the quality of education we provide at Howard Payne.”

For more information about the Athletic Training Education Program, contact HPU’s School of Education at 325-649-8203 or visit


Cutline: HPU students competed in the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association quiz bowl. Pictured from left are seniors Corey Martinez, Ruth Davis and Dezeray Tafte.

HPU education alumni honored for excellence in teaching

BROWNWOOD – August 1, 2016 – Several alumni from Howard Payne University’s School of Education were honored by their respective school districts for outstanding teaching during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff, recently appointed dean of HPU’s School of Education, said she is proud to join an institution that is well known for its educator preparation.

“HPU has a great reputation and long legacy of producing excellent teachers,” she said. “I am honored to join HPU and be a part of producing the next generation of outstanding educators.”

Honorees include:

Brownwood ISD
Martha Asebedo ’76 – 35 years of service and Regional Elementary Teacher of the Year nominee
Kenan Boland ’02 – Brownwood Middle School Rising Star Teacher of the Year
Corissa Brown ’14 – Coggin Elementary Rising Star Teacher of the Year
Dana Cyr ’97 – Northwest Elementary Distinguished Teacher of the Year
Tori Moore ’14 – Northwest Elementary Rising Star Teacher of the Year
Telise Murray ’09 – Brownwood High School Distinguished Teacher of the Year

Crowley ISD
Cory Lee ’09 – Secondary Teacher of the Year

Newton ISD
Rachel Jeffers Prestwood ’04 – Teacher of the Year

Ralls ISD
Amber Wilson ’04 – Ralls High School Teacher of the Year

Tomball ISD
Matt Anderson ’07 – Teacher of the Year

The preceding list was reported to HPU’s School of Education. To alert HPU of an omission, please contact Susan Sharp, administrative assistant and certification officer, at An updated list will be maintained on the university’s website.


HPU’s Sport and Wellness Leadership graduate students complete summer travel course

SWELL summer travel courseBROWNWOOD – July 7, 2016 – Fifteen students and a faculty member from Howard Payne University’s Master of Education degree program in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) recently traveled more than 4,000 miles to engage with national leaders in the sport and wellness industries.

Dr. P. Graham Hatcher, professor of kinesiology and instructor for the course, wanted to provide a unique learning experience for his second-year graduate students.

“If you aspire to be a leader in sport and wellness, you really need to engage those making headlines,” said Dr. Hatcher.

Prior to departure, each student completed background assignments on organizational profiles in advance of the site visits and an annotated bibliography on a sport/wellness issue or trend.

The group’s itinerary included stops in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Green Bay, St. Paul, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Hatcher sought to blend daily visits to leading sport and wellness venues in each stop along the way.

Students interacted with executive staff at Learfield Communications (leaders in college athletic marketing) and Triple Crown Sports (owner of the National Invitation Tournament basketball tournaments and numerous nationwide youth sport competitions). They also visited the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation, the nation’s oldest sports commission and one of four led by a female.

Other sites visited included the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ national offices and the headquarters for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and National Junior College Athletic Association. Additionally, they visited the Indianapolis Indians (AAA baseball) ballpark and the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field (NFL); the U.S. Olympic Training Center; and the headquarters of the University Interscholastic League.

Students also attended the annual meeting of the National Wellness Institute, met with the leadership of corporate wellness providers (Organizational Wellness Learning Systems, Cerner Corporation and the National Institute for Fitness and Sport) and heard presentations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on international efforts to manage the Zika outbreak and the Texas State Health Services Department on statewide health promotion initiatives.

“Learning about and then visiting the organizations advanced the idea that I could see myself working in these places,” commented Chassidy Holloway, HPU student from Lafayette, Alabama. “It also gave me a boost of confidence in my abilities and what I have to offer to each of those organizations as well.”

HPU’s Master of Education degree in Sport and Wellness Leadership is offered through the Department of Kinesiology within HPU’s School of Education. The 10-course, 21-month-long program will begin accepting applications for its second cohort of students (entering August 2017) on September 1. More information can be found at


Cutline: Students and faculty in HPU’s Master of Education degree program in Sport and Wellness Leadership are pictured with staff from the nationally recognized Cerner Corporation’s Employee Wellness Program.

HPU names Brownwood’s Clark-Goff dean of education

Dr. Kylah Clark-GoffBROWNWOOD – July 6, 2016 – Howard Payne University recently appointed Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff as dean of the university’s School of Education. The Brownwood resident has experience in education both as a school teacher and in collegiate teacher preparation.

Dr. Clark-Goff most recently served six years as assistant professor in Tarleton State University’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to that, she served as an elementary school teacher in a private Christian school in Maryland as well as in public school districts in Crowley, Mansfield and Abilene. Additionally, Dr. Clark-Goff taught English as a Foreign Language courses in Mozambique and Jordan through the International Mission Board.

During her tenure at Tarleton, Dr. Clark-Goff received the Dr. O.A. Grant Excellence in Teaching Award and the Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, she was inducted into Tarleton’s Crystal Apple Society for her contributions and dedication to the teaching profession.

Dr. Clark-Goff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education with a specialization in early childhood education from Baylor University in 1995. She went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2001 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University in 2008.

“We’re fortunate to welcome Dr. Clark-Goff to the HPU family as dean of our School of Education,” said Dr. W. Mark Tew, provost and chief academic officer. “She is an outstanding educator and will serve our students and faculty well.”

Dr. Clark-Goff said great things are happening in HPU’s School of Education.

“I am glad to be a part of the growth and development of a generation of teachers and community leaders,” she said.


Cutline: Brownwood’s Dr. Kylah Clark-Goff was recently named dean of HPU’s School of Education.

HPU alumna named All-Big Country Coach of the Year

Heather Hohertz and teamBROWNWOOD – May 4, 2016 – Heather Hohertz, 2007 Howard Payne University graduate, said she credits her HPU professors and coaches in guiding her to be her best. Hohertz, who serves as head basketball coach and assistant softball coach at Brownwood High School, was recently named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year for Classes 4A-6A by the Abilene Reporter-News. She additionally won the award in 2010.

“By playing under Coach K (Chris Kielsmeier, former HPU basketball coach), I learned how to dedicate myself toward my passion and I learned the work ethic to become successful on the court and in life,” she said.

Hohertz grew up in Priddy and during her senior year of high school was a member of the team that won the first-ever state championship for the small community.

“When I was searching for a college to continue my playing career, Howard Payne was an easy choice,” she said. “Coach Kielsmeier recruited me and I knew I had to become a member of the Lady Jacket family.”

Today, Meia Daniels, a former teammate of Hohertz, serves as head women’s basketball coach for the university.

“Heather is very deserving of the award,” said Daniels. “She works hard and is very competitive, which she relays through her team. I am very proud of her and I know she will continue to do great things in the future.”

During seven years at Brownwood High School, Hohertz has led her team to many victories and has a win-loss record of 147-74.

“This year, we matched our best record in the school’s history,” she said. “We were 25-8 and made the school’s first-ever trip to the regional tournament.”

Hohertz said it’s a great honor to be named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year because there are so many great coaches in the area.

“It’s a tribute to the great kids I have had the opportunity to coach,” she said. “They bought into my philosophy and they strive to be successful.”


Cutline: HPU alumna Heather Hohertz, kneeling, was recently named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year for Classes 4A-6A by the Abilene Reporter-News. She is pictured with members of her Lady Lions basketball team. Photo contributed.

Twenty inducted into HPU’s Kappa Delta Pi education honor society

Kappa Delta Pi inductees for webBROWNWOOD – April 29, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s School of Education recently inducted 20 new members into the university’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education.

Kappa Delta Pi, founded in 1911, includes more than 600 chapters and 1.2 million active members worldwide. In addition to maintaining high academic standards, the HPU students inducted this year are active in many parts of campus life including student leadership, athletics and various organizations.

Inductees were Brittany Benson, senior from Early; Tiffany Bullock, junior from Red Oak; Ryan Contreras, senior from Early; Carissa Cromer, junior from Newark; Cherita George, junior from Brownwood; Catherine Haston, junior from Odessa; Lydia Heinrichs, junior from Hico; TaSahana Hooker, junior from Carrollton; Kelly Kaake, junior from Early; Cassandra Mendez, senior from Brownwood; Candace Montgomery, junior from Montgomery; Kinsey Nall, junior from Rising Star; Judy Pack, junior from Fort Worth; Vanessa Pate, senior from May; Tandi Patton, senior from Brownwood; Frank Ritter, junior from Early; Amber Shipman, senior from May; Heather Starnes, senior from May; Andrew Stevenson, junior from Whitehouse; and Hannah Strebeck, senior from Highlands.

“It is our honor to induct these students into Kappa Delta Pi,” said Dr. Daresa Voss, interim dean of HPU’s School of Education. “We look forward to seeing how they continue to grow and bless others through the field of education.”

Applications for admission are still being accepted for the fall 2016 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: HPU’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi recently inducted 20 new members.

“Kinesiology” name change better reflects HPU department’s mission

Xavier McFalls KinesiologyBROWNWOOD – April 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science recently announced that it has changed its name to the Department of Kinesiology to better reflect the department’s mission and purpose.

Dr. Graham Hatcher, head of the department and professor of exercise and sport science, said many academic departments nationwide have adopted similar name changes since the National Research Council recognized kinesiology as an academic discipline in the life sciences in 2006.

“Our focus is on the multidimensional study of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life,” he said, “so this is an especially appropriate designation for us and our bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology and athletic training as well as the Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership degree.”

Dr. Hatcher mentioned the department has had several other names throughout Howard Payne’s history: elocution and physical culture (1898), physical education (1923), athletics and physical education (1934) and health and physical education (1955). It was named the Department of Exercise and Sport Science in 1994.

“In the past two-and-a-half years we have crafted our mission statement, revised both undergraduate degrees, gained national accreditation for our Athletic Training Education Program and introduced the Master of Education degree in Sport and Wellness Leadership,” said Dr. Hatcher. “Those efforts were conducted intentionally as a prelude to this name change, which better reflects our core programs focusing on physical activity and human movement.”

The mission statement for HPU’s Department of Kinesiology is “To provide a Christ-centered approach to the field of human movement through study, practice, and service.” Fall 2015 enrollment in the department was 191 majors, minors and graduate students. The department employs six full-time faculty members and 19 adjunct instructors.

Kinesiology major Xavier McFalls, senior from Amarillo, said the department has opened doors for him regarding his future career options.

“The kinesiology program not only academically challenges me but also helps me take what I learn and apply it outside the classroom,” he said.

For more information about HPU’s Department of Kinesiology, visit or contact Dr. Hatcher at (325) 649-8966 or via e-mail at


Photo cutline: Xavier McFalls (blue mat), senior kinesiology major at HPU, leads a yoga class for fellow athletes.

HPU alumna named Teacher of the Year at Duncanville’s Central Elementary

Amanda TaylorBROWNWOOD – March 29, 2016 – Howard Payne University alumna Amanda (Hendrix) Taylor was recently named Teacher of the Year at Central Elementary School in Duncanville. Taylor, who teaches visual arts, graduated from HPU in 2012 with a degree in art education.

Taylor has taught for three years, with all three of those years spent at Central Elementary. She piloted the art program for the school and teaches approximately 600 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. In addition to a busy teaching schedule, she volunteers with after-school tutoring, assists with organizing fundraisers and helps decorate the school for special events.

“I am truly honored and humbled to have been chosen by our faculty as Teacher of the Year,” said Taylor. “It means the world to me that they see what I do as important and essential to the life of a child. I love to see my students blossom as they discover new things about themselves and their abilities in the art room.”

Dr. Daresa Voss, interim dean of HPU’s School of Education, was delighted to learn of Taylor’s award.

“Amanda has accomplished so much in just three short years of teaching,” she said. “I’m excited to see the directions in which her career will lead her.”


Photo cutline: HPU alumna Amanda Taylor was recently named Teacher of the Year at Central Elementary School in Duncanville.