Before embarking on her doctoral journey in the kinesiology for individuals with disabilities program, Marie Leake worked as a high school physical and health education teacher, gaining valuable insights into the challenges faced by students with disabilities in physical education.
Drawing from her experience in the public school system, Leake is deeply committed to addressing the marginalization of students with disabilities within physical education classes. Her research interests are strongly informed by her time in the field, and she is dedicated to bridging the gap between theory and practice.
During her tenure at the University of Virginia, Leake has taken the initiative to organize and implement two professional development training programs for different school divisions. These programs aim to equip physical education teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively meet the diverse needs of all learners in their classes. Leake firmly believes that empowering teachers through professional development programs can lead to more inclusive and equitable physical education experiences for students with disabilities.
In her role as a Ph.D. student, Leake strives to instill a greater sense of confidence in physical education teachers, enabling them to create authentically inclusive environments for students with disabilities in general physical education classes. Her dedication to this mission reflects her commitment to improving the educational experiences and outcomes for all students.
With a strong foundation in teaching, a passion for inclusion, and a dedication to research that addresses the unique challenges faced by students with disabilities in physical education, Leake is poised to make a meaningful impact in the field. Her work embodies the University of Virginia's commitment to excellence and inclusivity in education.
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2024 (anticipated)
MAT, James Madison University, 2019
B.S., James Madison University, 2018
A.A., Piedmont Virginia Community College, 2016
- Physical and Health Education Pedagogy
- Pre-service teacher education
- Adapted Physical Education
- Teacher self-efficacy
- Qualitative methodologies