Who's Who Top Educators

Dr. Joyce M. Curtis

Curtis, Joyce 3119876_25198979 TP

Title:Physical Education Teacher (Retired)

Location: Abilene, Texas, United States

Dr. Joyce M. Curtis, a Retired Physical Education Teacher, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Education for dedication, achievements, and leadership in physical education.

Dr. Curtis has always loved learning and exploring a range of activities and sports. She decided that she wanted to turn that passion into a career when she was in ninth grade, and physical education seemed only natural. Dr. Curtis excelled in her academic pursuits, earning a Bachelor of Science in 1959 and a Master of Science in physical education in 1960 from North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas), followed by a Doctor of Physical Education at Indiana University in 1970. She furthered her knowledge and professional standing with certifications from the United States Golf Teachers Federation and the National Bowling Council Education Service Center.

Dr. Curtis joined Abilene Christian College (now Abilene Christian University) as a teacher, and her tenure lasted 45 years, from 1959 to her retirement in 2004. She was responsible for successfully leading the coed badminton team to competitions and tournaments throughout Texas and Oklahoma for the Women’s Recreation Association at the institution, developing competitive basketball and volleyball teams, and starting the women’s athletic program. She attributes much of her success to Dr. Dwain Hart, the long-time department chair who became an important mentor and friend. He led her to many great opportunities, such as the Texas Association of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance conference, which she attended annually, and encouraged her to grow and stay current in the field. She believes her achievements can also be credited to her education and personal dedication, and to the timing of Title IX.

Outside of her work, Dr. Curtis has been very active in her community. She was the treasurer of the Texas Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, a volunteer at the Vera West Woman’s Center, for the Bunco for Breast Cancer Committee, and for the Hope Fund Committee, as well as a life member of American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation. To further connect with her peers, she authored publications like “Pickle-Ball for Player and Teacher, Third Edition,” “Intermediate Bowling Notebook for Teacher,” “Manual for Bowling Teachers,” and “Manual for Badminton Teachers.”

Throughout her career, Dr. Curtis has earned a variety of accolades for her efforts. She was the recipient of the Pathfinder Award from the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports through AAHPERD in 2009 and the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance in 2008. She was an inductee of the ACU Sports Hall of Fame at Abilene Christian University Athletics in 2003, having won the ACU Volleyball Wildcat Award in 1997, the Faculty Development Award from Abilene Christian University in 1991, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women in 1982. She was named an Outstanding Educator of America in 1975 and Bowler of the Year by the Abilene Women’s Bowling Association in 1967.

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