Stephen Berry '21

Stephen Berry '21 
Rock Hill, South Carolina 
Physical education 
Two-year internship with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga in Campus Ministries with Reformed University Fellowship

The fourth of seven siblings, Stephen Berry grew up in Rock Hill playing sports and being active in outside activities.

The home schooled student spent his first year at York Technical College then transferred to Winthrop where he gravitated to physical education. The enthusiasm he brought to the classroom and his diligent efforts prompted his professors to nominate him successfully for the 2021 Major of the Year for the Society of Health and Physical Educators. He was honored during the organization's 135th National Convention & Expo in April.

Berry said when he began as a PE major, he knew that he would enjoy the major and would work hard. “I would have never expected to receive any sort of recognition for my academic efforts,” he said. “As the semesters passed by, I continually grew in my understanding, conviction and excitement for the field.  I entered Winthrop interested in health and physical education, but I will be leaving as an advocate.”

Berry also was honored by the Department of Physical Education, Sport and Human Performance (PESH) department with the Taylor Award as the student who had an outstanding performance during a teaching internship. The award honors Mickey Taylor, a former physical education professor and department chair, for her lifelong commitment to the preparation of physical education teachers.

In fall 2020, Berry completed an internship at Dutchman Creek Middle School and then finished a spring internship at Ebinport Elementary School, both in Rock Hill. Teaching students to enjoy movement even if they don't excel in that area was a challenge, along with the pandemic safety and social distance protocols, he said.

His Winthrop experience has been full of so many wonderful blessings and exciting experiences, Berry said, particularly with Campus Ministries and within his major. 

One of his favorite memories was a backpacking trip with one of his PESH classes his sophomore year. He had a wonderful time spending time in nature, being physically active, and bonding with other PESH students and faculty.

After his May graduation with a B.S. in physical education, Berry will head to the University of Tennessee Chattanooga for a two-year internship in campus ministries with Reformed University Fellowship. He expects to return to South Carolina and find a teaching job as a physical education teacher.

He will draw on his physical education training as he teaches the next generation the importance of living a spiritual and physically active lifestyle.