SAI CatchLife Director Rick Schupbach
Rick Schupbach has been CatchLife director since its inception in 2016. Prior to leading SAI's CatchLife program, Rick was one of the most inspirational and influential voices in Iowa and across the nation for the last three decades when it comes to education on physical activity, health, and wellness. For much of his career, he was a teacher and coach at Grundy Center, where he earned state and national acclaim for his vision and implementation of key initiatives such as directing America’s first Elementary PE4life Academy. He has presented featured lessons at the National PE Day in Washington, D.C., provided testimony on Prevention and Wellness Initiatives before the Federal Senate Committee on Appropriations, and was a featured presenter multiple times at the National PE Conference. Rick was also one of six physical education teachers from across the nation to be featured in a video to help train college students titled “Exemplary Teachers in Action” and was the lead teaching practitioner at the 2010 Global Forum for Physical Education Pedagogy Conference.
Across the state, he was instrumental in establishing a distinctive Teaching with Technology master’s program in conjunction with UNI in which graduate students from all over the country came to Grundy Center and learned and taught in a totally immersed physical education program. He has been honored by his peers as the Iowa Elementary PE Teacher of the Year, has been inducted into the UNI Hall of Excellence, is a recipient of the John F. Sanford Award through the Iowa Medical Society, was the Masonic Lodge’s Iowa Teacher of the Year in 2015, and was honored by Mason City Schools as a Distinguished Alumnus that same year.
His excellence in education extended into the coaching realm, where his golf teams won 14 state titles in 21 state appearances. In 2007 he was a finalist for National Coach of the Year and in 2015 he was named the Des Moines Register State Coach of the Year for all sports, as well as receiving the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Golden Plaque of Distinction Award. Also in 2015, Rick was named to the Executive Board of the Iowa Youth Sports Initiative, a new state organization which, working with coaches, parents, student-athletes, and leaders, is seeking to develop “Better Athletes, Better People.”
Rick is the ideal person to lead this SAI initiative, designed to call attention to and help improve the overall physical, emotional, social, and mental health and wellness of those school administrators who choose to participate. He says it best when asked about his own personal philosophy, “Life is about relationships and if we can invest in and build healthy, positive relationships, life will become richer and more rewarding and fulfilling.”