WCU student named Outstanding Future Professional of the Year

Beth Arney, a Western Carolina University fall graduate who majored in health and physical education, recently was named the Outstanding Future Professional of the Year for the southern district of the Society of Health and Physical Educators.

Arney, of Vale, will receive her award at the 2016 SHAPE America southern district convention Feb. 10-13 in Williamsburg, Virginia. The district is comprised of 13 southeastern states.

“I was pretty excited,” Arney said. “To me, it’s a really high honor. Just winning it means a lot of people have faith that I’m going to be a good teacher. It’s a little scary, but it definitely means a lot.”

Arney got further confirmation of her abilities after enjoying a successful internship during the fall semester as a student physical education teacher at West Swain Elementary School in Swain County. That experience has her looking forward to her teaching career.

“I absolutely loved it,” Arney said. “I did P.E. all day and it was wonderful, just seeing the kids every day. They came in and were super excited. They were always willing to play and have fun.”

Arney also has been active with WCU’s health and physical education major club, as well as the North Carolina American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

“She’s a great young teacher, one who loves students and is not afraid to do what it takes to see that every child in her class feels cared about and is successful,” said WCU visiting instructor Marvin Schade.