Meet the CAAHPE Leaders

Image of Chris Wanner

Christine Wanner, CAAHPE President

Coordinator of Health and Physical Education for Westport Public Schools

What gets me up in the morning is a dedication to facilitating the growth of people as professionals, students, and human beings. I am committed to leading programs and developing ideas that make a difference in both the short term and the long term. I would say that my greatest strength as an instructional leader is the ability to inspire teachers to grow as professionals. As a result, teachers begin looking at their work in new and exciting ways and the department becomes an interdependent and cohesive unit that fosters continuous program development and peer support. Teachers ask each other for help and pop into each other’s lessons.

My accomplishments include providing professional development in backward design curriculum development, contributing to the revisions of the 2020 CT Healthy and Balanced Living Frameworks 2020 for health education, keynote speaker for CCSU PE Club, and serving as the chair of the district’s School Start Time Committee.

Prior to my position at Westport Public Schools, I served in administrative roles as the Coordinator of Health, PE and Fine Arts at the Capitol Region Education Council, and Director of Athletics, Health and PE in South Windsor. Earlier in my educational career, I taught Health and PE in Wallingford, Southington, Wethersfield and South Windsor. A little known fact about me is that in addition to Health and PE teaching certification, I am certified in Elementary Education grades PK-8. I taught 4th grade for two years under this certification which helped inform my work as a health education teacher.

My favorite hobbies include skiing, hiking, yoga, running, softball and volleyball, especially if I am doing them with my wife, Tami, and my daughters, Carly and Blayne. I also love to listen to books and podcasts on my commute to work.

Image of Joe Gorman

Joseph Gorman, CAAHPE Past-President

coordinator of health and physical education for waterbury public schools

I am honored to serve as your President of the Connecticut Association of Administrators of Health and Physical Education, and welcome you to become an integral contributor to our professional organization! There is no more exciting time to be in our profession than right now – we have the power and the data to support it. We can lead others to truly see the immense value we bring to children’s educational outcomes and how we improve their chances for lifelong success. It is up to us to generate our own loud voice for a seat at the school improvement debate – together!

My career accomplishments include, among others, a CTAHPERD Professional Service Award and an Outstanding Program Award recognition, a Greater Waterbury Healthcare Champion Award, a Ct. Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) “First 100” Honoree, an American Red Cross “Good Neighbor” honoree, a former Carole White and USDOE Emergency Management Grant Project Director, executive producer of the Second Generation CSDE fitness testing instructional videos, chairman of the Waterbury School Health and Wellness Advisory Council, Project Director of the Support for Pregnant and Parenting Teens Project, several published CSDE Model Best Policy and Practice acknowledgments, a recruited contributor to the 2020 Connecticut Healthy and Balanced Framework for Physical Education revision committee and administrative representative to the CSDE CPFA advisory group.

I’ve served the Waterbury Public Schools for almost 30 years, taught both Health and Physical Education at all elementary and secondary levels and coached multiple interscholastic and intramural sports. I’m a certified 1st Aid/CPR/AED Instructor, AMC Lifeguard, CVBO Volleyball Official, WCSOA Swim and Dive Official and Greater Waterbury Board Softball Umpire. The excitement, magnetic personalities, relationships and intense human drama of high school sports still hold magic for me. I also love to go fishing because fish don’t live in ugly places. Being out on the water always rejuvenates me. Sport-wise, I’m a lifelong Yankees, NY Football Giants and NHL hockey fan. I still miss my Hartford Whalers…

I am a blessed proud father of three remarkable and accomplished kids – my son Sean, who now resides in Ireland; Kathleen, who officially followed her dad into the teaching profession this year and Jillian, who has begun a promising career in North Carolina as a Physical Therapy Assistant. They inspire me to aspire.

Tracy Stefano, CAAHPE Secretary

K-12 supervisor of health and physical education for east hartford public schools

My name is Tracy Stefano and it is my privilege to serve as the secretary of CAAHPE! I am very passionate about the importance of Health and Physical Education being an integral part of a child’s educational experience and I am dedicated to helping and supporting districts, leaders and teachers in developing and implementing quality Health and Physical Education programs. Working collaboratively with other educators and partnering with other professional organizations will strengthen our resolve to continue to evolve and grow to better serve the students of Connecticut.

My accomplishments include contributing to the revisions of the 2020 Connecticut Healthy and Balanced Framework for Health Education, facilitating various professional development workshops on sexual health and curriculum development, serving as chair of East Hartford’s District Health and Wellness Advisory Council and am president-elect for CTAHPERD.

I have proudly served East Hartford Public Schools for over twenty-three years. I began my career in 1998 as a health and physical education teacher at East Hartford High School where I also coached girls’ basketball. After teaching three years at EHHS, I spent the next fourteen years teaching at East Hartford Middle School. These experiences, along with working with dedicated teachers, staff and administration, afforded me the opportunity to continue to grow as an educator and leader and helped pave the path to the position I serve in today.

My favorite hobbies include traveling with my husband Joe, boating, hiking, running and working out with friends! I firmly believe in surrounding oneself with positive people who inspire you to be a better version of you. Friends and family are extremely important to me! I am blessed to be the mother of three awesome children, Amanda, Marisa and Austin and a Mimi to my grandson Daniel; they are the loves of my life.

Tony Loomis, CAAHPE President Elect

Wellness Coordinator Wallingford Public Schools

I am honored to be the President Elect of CAAHPE! If I deserve any credit it’s for having the wherewithal to surround myself with passionate and talented educators throughout my career. I find myself in a similar role as I get to work closely with the rest of the CAAHPE executive board. When I began my career I simply wanted to teach a perfect lesson. I wanted every student engaged, inspired, with objective evidence of learning. As my instructional strategies improved, that desire shifted to a perfect unit, then course, and now program. I see tremendous room for growth in both myself and within our profession. I want to give back to the field and assist others in the endless journey of improvement.

I hope my accomplishments lend credibility to my efforts as a leader in the field. I am forever humbled to be the 2014 SHAPE America National High School Physical Education TOY. I am an active member of the CT Cadre of Physical Education Trainers. In 2005 I received CTAHPERD’s Outstanding New Professional Award. In 2019 I received the CTAHPERD Professional Service Award. My gratitude toward CTAHPERD and continued desire to serve now also positions me as president-elect for CTAHPERD. I have traveled around the state and country to present on topics such as Increasing Motivation and Participation in Physical Education, and Incorporating Technology into Physical Education. I also have experience as a keynote speaker.

I began my career teaching high school physical education in Naugatuck, Connecticut. During this time I was granted a sabbatical to teach while earning my master’s degree at a PE4Life institute in Iowa. After twelve incredible years I changed districts to pursue a leadership opportunity in Wallingford, Connecticut. I am currently the Wellness Coordinator for Wallingford Public Schools.

My wife, Nikki and I have two young children at home. I love being a wellness role model for them. I love exposing them to lifestyle activities in hopes they catch on, and I enjoy teaching them other aspects of wellness such as identifying and acknowledging our emotions. As a good friend likes to say, “LIG - Life Is Good!”

Amanda Forcucci, CAAHPE Treasurer

K-12 Health & Physical Education Curriculum Director Hamden Public Schools

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the treasurer of CAAHPE. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I can remember as a young girl, rounding up the neighborhood kids and demanding that they all play “school”, and I, teach them! My heart found Health and Physical Education through my alma mater, SCSU. I learned under some of the most influential PE/Health leaders our state has seen. Professors like, Dr. Jean Mee, Pat Panichas, and Dr. Marybeth Fede, just to name a few, have inspired and molded me into becoming a motivated, high energy young teacher. My teaching journey has led me to wonderful and exciting experiences. I have taught Physical Education at the Elementary level, Health at the High School level and now I find myself as the Curriculum Director for Health and PE in the same district that gave me my start 19 years ago. In addition, I serve as my district’s Wellness Committee chairperson, Co-Chair our Hamden Youth Council, Chair our district’s LGBTQIA+ Taskforce, and serve on our Quinnipiack Valley Health District’s Advisory Committee. I have also had the fortunate experience to be consulted as an editor to Health textbooks. I value our district’s hard work in having created a Scope and Sequence including common assessments on the Elementary level as well as being dedicated to make the important switch to a Skills-Based Health Curriculum on the Secondary Level. I thoroughly enjoy prepping and planning the Election Day Health & Physical Education Conference that is held at Hamden High School. I am pleased to be able to provide high quality professional development through our state’s PE and Health Cadres. They truly have developed a standard of excellence and are highly skilled in sharing and teaching best practices. My family is my rock! I live with my wife Jacky and our two children, Johnny and Sawyer. When I am not coaching our girls varsity basketball team, our family enjoys hiking, going to the beach and attending as many CT farms and fairs as we can.