Crestwood students arrive early for the Morning Grind

Originally published March 4, 2019 in the Record-Courier.

By Krista S. Kano

As soon as Crestwood physical education teacher MaryBeth Thigpen moved from the middle school to the intermediate school at the beginning of the school year, her new students started asking her if she was going to continue former teacher James Dutched’s program, the Morning Grind. Thigpen wasn’t quite sure what it was, but “everyone wanted to do it, so I said, ‘OK! Let’s do it!’”

She soon learned that the Morning Grind was a before-school program in which kids arrive at school early to exercise. The students meet on Mondays and Fridays between winter break and spring break to let out pent-up energy in the drearier months. Read More


Pennsylvania school adds Spirit System to PE program

Originally published Jan. 6, 2017 in the Lancer Life Blog at James W. Parker Middle School in Edinboro, Penn.

JWPMS adds new PE technology to improve student fitness

Basketball, double dutch, dodgeball, sledding and … technology?

Introducing the 21st century physical education classroom.

James W. Parker Middle School (JWPMS) is engaging students through interactive technology to improve students’ cardiovascular fitness.

fitnessThrough the IHT Spirit System, students now have the opportunity to manage their individual health and fitness. The technology includes heart monitor watches, docking stations, PC’s to run the IHT Spirit system software and the software itself. The watches are intended to motivate students by instantly sending them an email with their heart rates throughout the period ensuring that they challenge themselves and hit specific heart zones.

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When one student finally reaches goal, the rest of class follows suit

Tue, 24 May 2016

Students tap their IHT Spirit System heart rate monitors in before use in a PE class.

As his school year ground toward its inevitable end, John Kruse, a physical education teacher at Nobel Charter Middle School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, scratched his head as he watched his students play pickleball, a cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis.

The scene playing out before him – and on the IHT Spirit System software that tracked the heart rate levels of the 12 students wearing monitors that day — was one he’d seen before, one he had grown tired of. Kruse, the 2016 California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Teacher of the Year, had hoped that his students would be exercising in their optimal heart rate zone for at least half of the PE period.

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Looking for votes, Spirit Challenge entrant turns to local media

Sylvia School photo from
Sylvia School photo from

You won’t catch Falls River, Mass., physical education teacher Terry Mahjoory talking about the demise of newspaper.

The Sylvia School teacher let the local paper, the Herald News, know about her elementary school class’ entry into the Interactive Health Technologies “Raising the Bar” PE Video Challenge.

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