Edward Manfredi presented ECSU award


Courtesy of Edward Manfredi

Dr. Darren Robert presents Practitioner award to ECSU alumni Edward Manfredi.

Jess Rickis, Staff Writer

Health, Physical Education and Wellness Department Leader Edward Manfredi was presented the Outstanding Kinesiology/Physical Education (KPE) Practitioner Award on April 22 at a breakfast ceremony on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU).

Each year, ECSU recognizes alumni for their contribution to the field of education as teachers, principals, superintendents and more. The specific award presented to Manfredi honors educators working in the field of education and recreation.

 “I was a little surprised and humbled to get this award. It was very nice, and I was very grateful. I still know some people there who taught when I was there, so it was nice to see those people and connect with them and get this [award] from a group I really respect,” Manfredi said.

The award was presented by Health and Physical Education Professor Darren Robert, a professor at ECSU who has worked with Manfredi over the years.

“He was given this award for being an alumni of ECSU who has contributed significantly to his field and has also given back to them and the greater Physical Education community,” Robert said.

The award presented to Manfredi is awarded annually; however, candidates must be nominated and voted for in order to receive the award. Robert believes Manfredi was voted to win the award due to his involvement in the education field throughout the state.

“He has accepted ECSU student teachers several times in his district, has presented many times at CTAHPERD [CT’s Professional Physical Education Organization]; he has helped CT Educators at the CT State Department of Education,” Robert said.

Health and Physical Education Professor Robert Horrocks was the original presenter for Manfredi’s award but was unable to attend. Horrocks was Manfredi’s major professor when he attended ECSU. According to Manfredi, he was his role model throughout his physical education career.

“I was Mr. Manfredi’s first professor at Eastern, and I remember him as one of the most inquisitive and creative students I have ever had. He had a great capacity for writing and read extensively.  He was one of the top students to graduate from our health and physical education program,” Horrocks said.

Manfredi graduated from ECSU with the class of 1983 and said he was glad to have gotten the opportunity to reconnect with some of his professors and other ceremony attendees.

“There was a gentleman there who I had [as a professor] in 1981, and he had my son there last year, so all this time later it was nice to see those people and connect with them and get this from a group I really respect. That department does a really good job,” Manfredi said.

Physical education teacher Duane Witter is also an ECSU alumni in addition to Manfredi.

“Manfredi is the Wellness Department Leader at FHS, and he oversees the programs at all the other public schools in Farmington kindergarten though eighth grade. He has great knowledge of wellness and has always had great vision. He has established Farmington as one of the top wellness programs in the state,” Witter said.

In addition, two of Manfredi’s sons currently attend ECSU, one of whom is a freshman and one of whom is a senior at the university.

“My dad has worked long and hard to get to where he is now and he is very passionate about his work. It was cool to see him get honored by the same university that my brother and I go to and to see him connect with old friends from Eastern,” ECSU freshman Tommy Manfredi said.