McHenry High School District 156 physical education department receives award

Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance recognizes staff for getting students to ‘buy in’ to the importance of physical activity

Originally published Nov. 23, 2018 in the Northwest Herald.

The McHenry High School District 156 physical education department was recognized with a Blue Ribbon Award for excellence from the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance after a yearlong effort to showcase the department’s approach to educating the whole student – mind and body.

District officials and physical education teachers and administrators received the Blue Ribbon Award plaque and banner during a Nov. 15 ceremony at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles as part of the association’s annual conference.“We are very proud that our PE department was recognized by the Blue Ribbon Committee for the amazing work they do on behalf of our school community each and every day,” District 156 Superintendent Ryan McTague said. “This recognition solidified their status as one of the most progressive PE departments in the state, and it is an honor that is well-deserved.” Read More

Junior high students getting full realm of P.E. activities

Originally published on Oct. 27, 2018 in the Pontiac Daily Leader.

By Luke Smucker

The steady rain, overcast sky and cold weather couldn’t stop the excitement of students at Pontiac Junior High School on Friday. The gymnasium was bursting with activity as students jumped, slammed, crawled and tossed their way through an obstacle course that would make a cross-fit instructor jealous.

The obstacle course activity is part of a new physical education curriculum created by new instructor Colleen Kelly and Chris Hoepfner. The teaching duo has dubbed itself “the dream team.” Read More

new P.E.

Up Close with Dr. E: The new P.E.

Originally published Aug. 4, 2018 by the Journal Review.

By Dr. Richard Elghammer

If you had asked me, when I was a 10-year -old boy attending school, “What do you like most about school?” my answer was lunch and recess.

Lunch was good because I liked food (still do), and my mother, a five-star cook, packed my lunch with delicious sandwiches and occasional surprises (Heath bar, tootsie roll). Recess was good because I hated (still do) being forced to sit all day at my desk. Recess for me was the same as racing is to a thoroughbred competing in the Kentucky Derby: the freedom to run your heart out in a pell-mell dash down a dirt racetrack, and the power-raw muscular power-to push and push your body until your front legs cross the finish line. Recess gave my body unfettered freedom to do what all children’s bodies are engineered to do, namely, to run, jump, hop, skip, swing, teeter, roll, stretch and twist.

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spin class

Mt. Pleasant to offer free spin classes at community center

Originally published July 29 in the Columbia Daily Herald.

By Mike Christen

Mt. Pleasant is turning its wheels as it celebrates the approval of a $31,150 grant to launch a spin class with the city’s parks and recreation department.

Mt. Pleasant Parks Director Thomas Kenney said the funds will go to purchasing 18 bikes, an audio visual system and marketing materials for the program.

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physical education

Physical Education: More Than Fun and Games

Originally published July 18, 2018 by the Keene State College News.

Think back to your physical educations classes in elementary school and beyond. If you recall only playing games or doing tedious exercises, you’re not alone. However, today’s physical education classes are different, more exciting, and about much more than fun and games.

“Enjoyment, or fun, is only part of the five standards of physical education,” says Eric Carpenter, assistant professor of human performance and movement sciences. “Fun and games is a stereotype. The goal is to help the whole child learn.” Read More