If you happen to see Jim Wright at any of the many sporting events in the South Huntington School District, you can now address him as Dr. Wright. Having just earned his Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD) from Dowling College, he is happy to share his experience. “My initial study focused on why children avoid physical education,” said the physical education/athletic director. “In my research I saw that there has not been a significant amount of study done on children in middle school, and since they are experiencing so much change at that age level, that’s where I concentrated my attention.”
Dr. Wright’s dissertation was titled “Middle School Students’ Activity Interests and Their Attitudes Toward Curriculum, Learning Environment, Achieving Goals, and Physical Eduction.” “I was able to confirm that middle school students’ attitudes toward physical education in these areas predict their activity interests, whether in lifetime skills like biking, yoga, dance, and recreational games, or in individual activities like golf, tennis, gymnastics, and team activities like soccer or football. We broke their interests down by ethnicity and gender, and found that while boys and girls differ in their interests, ethnicity was not a factor.”
“One of the benefits of my course work, other than enabling me to set a good example for the children of South Huntington to work hard in order to achieve your goals, is the opportunity to share my research with our staff and to help administrators and teachers apply my research so that they can design curricula and teach more effectively when it comes to physical education,” said Dr. Wright. Dr. Wright credited his mentor, the late Dr. Jack Foley, who had been the athletic director at Ward Melville High School, as well as as well as the South Huntington administration and community for their support.