May 15, 2016

Originally posted in the Herald News.
By Greg Sullivan
Herald News Staff Reporter

Posted May 15, 2016 at 8:36 AM
Updated May 18, 2016 at 10:50 PM

Sylvia School photo from

Sylvia School photo from

FALL RIVER – The Silvia School needs your votes.

With high-energy physical education teacher Terry (Pacheco) Mahjoory at the throttle, the elementary school is on a mission to win the Interactive Health Technologies PE Video Challenge.

If Silvia wins, it gets three years of free IHT Zone software, 30 IHT watches that work like fitbits, a bunch of sports equipment, and a visit from high jump legend Dick Fosbury who would lead a pep rally at the school.

An Olympic gold medalist in 1968, Fosbury is the innovator of the Fosbury Flop high-jumping technique which is the norm in the sport.

The Silvia School as of last week was in second place, about 700 votes behind Bay View Middle School in Green Bay, Wis.

Mahjoory and Jean Facchiano, Silvia School principal, said their school is at a disadvantage because so many middle school students have their smart phones to vote. Silvia is counting largely on parents, staff, aunts, uncles, and friends.

“If we can get those 700 votes, we can win this thing,” Facchiano said.

To vote and to see Pacheco’s video, visit To vote, you will have to give your email the first time. After that, you can vote every 24 hours. Voting ends Friday.

The video Mahjoory has submitted shows many of the ways she has taken physical activity and woven it into the fabric of the entire school, the entire day.

With strong support from other teachers at Silvia, Mahjoory, the former star field hockey player at Durfee High School and Michigan State University, has students stretching, jumping, doing isometrics at the start of music class, in the courtyard, even while waiting to use the bathroom.

“She’s so creative,” Facchiano said.

Mahjoory says being “physically literate” helps children to better function in all aspects of school life.

“It’s quick, quick, quick. Five minutes,,” Facchiano said of the in-school mini workouts. “I think it works.”

According to the PE Challenge website, the three-years of software is valued at more than $10,000.

“Their software is awesome for assessment in PE,” Mahjoory said in a Facebook message to this reporter.

The watches, she added, will allow her to track exactly “what my students are putting out in PE.”

Email Greg Sullivan at Follow him @GregSullivanHN.