The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame was bestowed on Peggy Michaels, PE teacher and chair of the Physical Education Department at GPS, on Monday.
The award, named for Betty Probasco, recognizes the leadership that Ms. Michaels has contributed to the field of fitness and wellness and her 24-year career at GPS. It is presented annually to “those who have provided loyal service or significant contributions to athletics or recreational programs in the Greater Chattanooga area.”
Ms. Michaels is recognized across the state and the Southeast for the SHAPE fitness and wellness program that she designed to use in PE classes at GPS. The mission of SHAPE (Starting Habits to Attain Physical Excellence) is to “prepare girls for a lifetime of physical wellness through a sequenced program of fitness, nutrition, and play,” she says. It has been recognized as one of the top high school physical education programs in the Southeast, and the Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance named Ms. Michaels Physical Educator of the Year in 1993.
Lettering in two sports, volleyball and basketball, at Tyner High School in the 1960s, Ms. Michaels attended Tennessee Tech University, from which she received the Flavious Smith Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. Attending the banquet with her two daughters, Meg Michaels Word ’91 and Kingsley Michaels Bennett ’94, the honoree accepted the award with her typical humility and thankfulness to God.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over 25 years ago, Ms. Michaels has adapted her teaching style due to her physical limitations, but her interaction with students is ongoing and personal. She is a member of the Tennessee Multiple Sclerosis Hall of Fame and has been honored by the local MS chapter.
Caroline Caulkins Bentley ’83 was inducted into the local hall of fame for her many contributions to Chattanooga swimming.