Midwest Dairy Association

Program Advisors of the Year

The Fuel Up to Play 60 State Program Advisor of the Year takes an active leadership role in encouraging students to eat healthy, get active and make a difference through Fuel Up to Play 60. They help their schools activate the program and earn rewards and funds, engage and empower students to implement Fuel Up to Play 60 and encourage others in their schools to get involved.




Michele Brown - Arkansas

Michele Brown

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year

As a Senior Olympic athlete, Michele Brown knows the importance of eating right and staying active. As a school-based health center coordinator and former elementary physical education teacher, she also knows the importance of passing these messages along to our youth. In her efforts to do so, Michele Brown of Lamar Elementary has been named Arkansas’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year for a second year.


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Wendy Starwalt - Illinois

Wendy Starwalt

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year

It all started with Wendy Starwalt, physical education teacher at Carrie Busey Elementary in Champaign, Illinois, searching for ways to improve her physical education curriculum. As the health and wellness lead for her site, she was also searching for new initiatives that could inspire all students and staff to implement healthy lifestyle changes. She was thrilled to find what she was looking for in the Fuel Up to Play 60, and with the help of a program grant, was able to jumpstart the school’s health and wellness efforts.


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Penney Arey - Iowa

Penney Arey

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year

Penney Arey, Iowa’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year, has never once uttered the words, “That’s too hard to accomplish.”

Arey, 6th and 8th grade health teacher at Indianola Middle School, and her Fuel Up to Play 60 wellness committee have taken on numerous initiatives this year to get students active, eating healthy and making a difference.


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Jeff Arellano - Kansas

Jeff Arellano

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year

Jeff Arellano, physical education teacher at Gardiner Elementary School, has been engaging students to become leaders and establish sustainable changes in the school since implementing the Fuel Up to Play 60 program in 2010. His efforts to create a greater general awareness of better eating and physical activity habits among Gardiner staff and students have earned him the designation of Kansas’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year.


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Matt Moore and Greg Ulrich - Minnesota

Matt Moore and Greg Ulrich

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisors of the Year

Before Fuel Up to Play 60, there were students at Sunnyside Elementary that did not know how a carrot tasted. Thanks to the efforts of Minnesota’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisors of the Year, Dr. Greg Ulrich and Matt Moore, that is no longer the case.

Dr. Greg Ulrich works with fourth and fifth grade students who struggle with reading and math. He has worked in public education for more than 25 years, coaching a variety of different sports at many age levels, and has a strong belief in the power of physical fitness and its ability to enhance lives.

His co-Program Advisor, Matt Moore, is a fifth grade classroom teacher who has worked in public education for 14 years, and has also coached NCAA football for 16 years. Through his experiences he has developed a teaching style that emphasizes physical activity and nutrition.


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Julie Dwyer - Missouri

Julie Dwyer

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year

After accomplishing her own personal fitness goals, Julie Dwyer, Missouri’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year, decided to focus on helping others achieve their goals and encouraging them to be the best they can be. Dwyer has taken a leadership role in encouraging students to get active, eat healthy and make a difference. By living a healthy lifestyle herself, she serves as a role model not only to students but teachers and staff as well.


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Alan Sarka - Nebraska

Alan Sarka

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year

Alan Sarka, a physical education teacher at Millard Public Schools’ John G. Neihardt Elementary in Omaha, set his sights on implementing cultural changes at his school when he became a Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor. The school’s been participating in the program since November 2011, and this year, Sarka has been selected as Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisor of the year for the state of Nebraska.


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Chelsea Hendricks and Leah Swedberg - North Dakota

Chelsea Hendricks and Leah Swedberg

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year

This year’s North Dakota Program Advisors of the Year, Leah Swedberg and Chelsea Hendricks understand the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. When students from West Fargo High School approached the pair to help them start a Fuel Up to Play 60 program, they were happy to do what they could to make their school healthier for students and faculty.

Since Swedberg, a health and physical education teacher, and Hendricks, a physical education teacher, have presided over the West Fargo High School program, their Fuel Up to Play 60 student-led organization has acquired many active members that plan and implement healthy eating and physical activity Plays in the school.


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Benito Rodriguez and Jason Bruce - South Dakota

Benito Rodriguez and Jason Bruce

Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year

Benito Rodriquez, a K-9 physical education and technology teacher, and Jason Bruce, a second grade teacher from the Woonsocket School District are applying their knowledge of health and wellness to get students excited about Fuel Up to Play 60 in their school.

A first-year teacher, Rodriquez hoped to become part of a program that students could get excited about. As a teacher who takes the opportunity in his health class to discuss eating healthy, he felt the popularity of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program would get kids excited, and more involved in their own health and wellness.

Bruce was happy to help. Knowing the Fuel Up to Play 60 program is a great way to encourage students to eat healthier, he also feels the program is very influential and helps motivate young people to become more active.


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