Innovation Team

An international team of superheroes determined to put a dent in the P.E. universe!


We are excited to announce that our NEW SPARK Podcast is out! Click here to listen to the latest episode... Episode 2: Assessment & Grading. 

Stay tuned for our March 30th, 2016 webinar with iTeam member, Jorge Rodriguez, at 5pm PST. Register for the webinar today!

Judy LoBianco

photo[1]Judy LoBianco graduated from Montclair State College with a BS in Health and Physical Education in 1991 and a M.A. in Administration and Supervision in Physical Education from MontclairState University in 1994. She is currently the Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Nursing Services in the South Orange-Maplewood Schools in New Jersey and has been in that role for 12 years. She has taught all levels of health and physical education, spending 10 years at Columbia HS in her district: the birthplace of Ultimate Frisbee! Judy has served in a myriad of leadership roles including President of New Jersey AHPERD in 1998, President of Eastern District AAHPERD in 2013-14 and is currently a Board of Director of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America). Judy has tireless energy for the profession and has traveled the country providing Physical Activity Leader (PAL) training for Let's Move Active Schools and keynotes on curriculum, assessment and advocacy.

Follow Judy at @jlobianc


Jamie Sparks

With a Bachelor of Arts in Health Education and Physical Education from Morehead State University and a Masters of Arts in School Guidance Counseling also from M.S.U., Jamie Sparks began his career as an elementary health and physical education teacher in the eastern region of Kentucky. In August 2010, he began as the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Tobacco consultant at the Kentucky Department of Education. In March 2011, he assumed the role of Project Director for the Coordinated School Health initiative that was funded by a federal grant through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In July 2013, Jamie was named as co-lead under the newly awarded CDC grant, State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health that was awarded to the Kentucky Department for Public Health. In addition he has served as the Vice President for Physical Education for the Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (KAHPERD) from 2012-2014, and is the current President-Elect for Kentucky. He also serves nationally on the Board of Directors for the American School Health Association. Sparks is a Physical Activity Leader trainer with Let’s Move Active Schools and is a PECAT trainer with CDC. Jamie enjoys being active with his three children: Ross, Hannah and Ray. With their support, he is currently in training to run the New York City Marathon in November 2015 to raise money for childhood obesity prevention through the Alliance for the Healthier Generation.

Follow Jamie at @JamieSparksCSH


Deidre Monarres

Deidre-Monarres[1]Deidre Monarres was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia PA and attended college in Western Pennsylvania at Lock Haven University. There she received her B.S. in Health & Physical Education while earning All-American status in division II women’s lacrosse. Deidre relocated to Southern CA in 1994, completed her CA teaching credential from Chapman University and her M.A. in Educational Leadership from California State Northridge. She is in her 17th year of teaching K-12 Physical Education, has managed and facilitated two PEP grants, coached numerous youth and high school sports, and currently serves as the Physical Education Teacher Specialist for Ventura Unified School District and the ASSETS coordinator at Pacific High School, a continuation high school for at-risk students. Deidre has a passion for experiential education and project-based learning. She enjoys blending curricula to reach common education goals and believes that Health and Physical Education classes create the perfect environment to build leadership capacity in students. Deidre maintains her own health with recreational jogging, occasional races, yoga and swimming. She considers her success as an educator a direct result of her drive to continuously learn. “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Follow Deidre at @PENerd


Jorge Rodriguez

Jorge Rodriguez is originally from McAllen, Texas and now lives in Houston. He attended the University of Houston where he was a high jumper on the track team and earned his Bachelors degree in Kinesiology with a minor in health. Jorge later went to receive his Masters degree in Educational Leadership from American College of Education. He is currently a physical education teacher at Harvard Elementary (an IB and STEM magnet school) in the Houston Independent School District, and is a Lead Teacher and the KEY teacher for physical education for the district. He is also an active member in Texas AHPERD, and sits on the recreation and social media committees and chairs the diversity section. Jorge absolutely loves his profession and is dedicated to do all he can to make it better!

Follow Jorge at @PhysedNow


Jo Bailey

Jo Bailey teaches Physical Education at D.C. Everest Senior High in Weston, WI. Originally from the UK, Jo spent much of her life in Hong Kong and taught in the both the UK and Hong Kong for several years before moving to the US in 2004. Jo is a National Board Certified Teacher, a Google Certified Teacher, and was the 2013 Midwest SHAPE America (formerly AHPERD) High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. An avid technology and gadget lover, Jo is always looking for ways to improve workflow, enhance learning (often through gamification), and leave more time for being active! Jo blogs at and co-presents the Crystal and Jo’s Excellent PE Adventures vodcast.

Follow Jo at @LovePhyEd


Adam Howell

Adam Howell is a middle school physical education and health teacher in Hood River, Oregon. He founded in February 2013 and helps moderate #pechat. His educational passions include social justice, teacher leadership that drives sustainable change, and leveraging technology to enhance teaching and learning. He strives to shatter stereotypes of physical education and health teachers everywhere through this lens. During the 2015-16 school year, he is excited to pursue the process of National Board Certification.

Follow Adam at @adamphowell


Naomi Hartl

Naomi Hartl has a passion for physical education and all things tech infused. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Education. She taught for four years in Saskatchewan, Canada and has relocated to Oregon, USA. In her pursuit to push the profession forward and to advocate for quality physical education, she started a new career as the PE Development & Technology Specialist for SPARK Programs in January 2015. She currently serves as the Secretary for the Oregon Society of Health and Physical Educators, and is a co-collaborator on Naomi leads the Innovation Team with SPARK Development Director Jeff Mushkin.

Follow Naomi at @MissHartl


Jeff Mushkin

Jeff Mushkin has a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education, a Master’s Degree in Public Health, and over 20 years of experience in physical education, health and nutrition. Jeff currently serves as the Director of Development for the SPARK Programs and lives in Louisville, KY. Among his many roles, Jeff oversees the development of SPARK curriculum, websites, professional development workshops, and physical education resources for teachers. Jeff is also an Elite Trainer and presenter for SPARK’s workshops, conferences and monthly webinars. He enjoys working with SPARK as it helps him achieve his career goals for promoting healthy lifestyles and improving physical activity opportunities for children.

Follow Jeff at @JeffMushkin


Have an innovative idea to share with the SPARK iTeam? Email your suggestions to Naomi Hartl at