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2023 HPER Hall of Honor Inductees

Meet the 2023 HPER Hall of Honor Inductees

Craig Barnes, 2011 BS - Health & Human Performance

Craig Barnes

Craig Barnes is 2011 graduate of the Health & Human Performance program and was the first to complete a Cardiac-Pulmonary Rehab Internship with Lawrence Memorial Hospital. He began his career in dual roles as a Health Fitness Specialist for Medifit and a Biometric Screening Technician for Cigna Insurance. After less than a year, these positions led to a two-year stint as Director of Rehabilitation for Advanced Sports and Family Chiropractic in Overland Park, KS. Eventually, Craig realized his passion was for Public Health, and in March of 2013 he accepted a position as the Health Promotion Coordinator for Shawnee County Health Agency. In December of 2017, he was promoted to Division Manager of Community Health Outreach and Planning for the Shawnee County Health Department.

Sara Jo Heath (B.S.E. 2009, M.S. 2013)

Sara Jo Heath

Sarah Jo Heath teaches Special Education at Maize High School. Sarah Jo also coaches 7th-grade volleyball at Maize Middle School and club volleyball. Sarah received the National Mable Lee Award for SHAPE America. The Mabel Lee Award recognizes younger professionals who have demonstrated outstanding potential in scholarship, teaching, and/or professional leadership. She has also been awarded the 2017 Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year for Central District SHAPE America and KAHPERD. Her focus on diverse developmental and remedial activities paired with her planning and instruction help ensure students experience success alongside nondisabled peers.

Sarah Gietscheir-Hartman (MS 2010)

Sarah Gietscheir-Hartman

Sarah has been named an Outstanding Recent Graduate from The ESU Teachers College. She teaches health and physical education, as well as serving as department chair at Clayton High School in Clayton, MO, a suburb of St. Louis. Sarah is the 2018 SHAPE America National Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.


Matt Marasco (HHP, BS 2008)

Matt Marasco

Matt Marasco is a 2008 graduate of our program (and Wichita native) who was also a standout baseball player during his time at ESU. Matt is in his fourth season as a full-time member of the Kansas City Royals front office, serving as the Sr. Director – Leadership & Cultural Development. Matt also coordinates Baseball Chapel at every level within the organization, ensuring that it remains an interdenominational program that is inclusive for all who choose to participate. Prior to vocational ministry and leadership, he worked in the fields of exercise science and corporate wellness. Matt currently lives in Kansas City with his wife and their four children.

Jesse Nelson, BSE 74 Physical Education

Jesse Nelson

Jesse Nelson is the winningest coach in Kansas High School sports history. In his 44 years at Olpe High school as the head girls’ basketball coach he had an amazing record of 951-111. He was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and has also been named the national girls Basketball Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations.