Thursday, May 12, 2016

Highlands Fitness Program Changing Lives

Board of Education member, John Weyer, Superintendent Gene Kirchner and Board Chair, Karen Allen, at the May Board of Education Meeting. FTM file.  
By Jennifer Summer 

At the Fort Thomas Board of Education meeting on May 9, 2016 eight high school students gave a presentation about the Fitness Program at Highlands.  The students shared their personal experiences having access to the new fitness center and its state of the art equipment.

The student presenters were:

Kayla Barton
Brooke Dill
Nick Gish
Emma Hargis
Haly Henningan 
Michael Long
Tyler Robinson
Dakota Wehrle

The Fitness Program begins in the freshman year of high school and the curriculum consists of three units.  The Cardiovascular Unit focuses on running/walking and how these improve the circulatory and respiratory systems.


The Strength Training unit involves the students designing their own personal workout programs using the fitness center.  They are taught how to properly use the exercise machines, how to practice good safety in the weight room, and the advantages and disadvantages of free weights vs. machine weights.  The students shared that it was much easier to learn by actually using the machines as opposed to just hearing about the benefits in a classroom setting.  The third portion of the curriculum is Flexibility.  The students learn how to use full range of motion, and how to perform better with a decreased risk of injury.

Sports Medicine students facilitate the Teacher Fitness Project.  Students are assigned a teacher who they then help develop a personal exercise program for their particular needs.  The students meet with the teachers for an assessment, then they research what exercise would be best for them and plan a work out.  Teacher Darrin Pollock stated, “Absolutely impressive: your preparation, professionalism in speaking and explaining, and knowledge.  You made me feel like an actual client.  Well done.”

Some students have also created instructional fitness videos for their You Tube channel.  They also created QR codes for the videos that are posted in the fitness center; simply scan with your phone and you can download and reference the instructional videos.

Two HHS seniors, Kayla Barton and Michael Long, shared their personal experience in this program.  Kayla shared that since beginning the program she has lost 33 pounds and has had a surge in her self-esteem.  She feels motivated to continue working out regularly once she has graduated because she is so proud of her progress.

Good job, Kayla!

Michael has noticed a significant improvement in his track time since he began regularly exercising.  He stated that using the fitness center relieves his stress and has helped him improve on weights.

Keep up the good work, Michael!

“When we created a vision for the Fitness Center, this is what it was all about,” said Superintendent Gene Kirchner.

“This has been one of the most impactful presentations I’ve seen in a long time,” said Karen Allen.

The students were thanked for their presentation and each given a ‘Rich in Tradition’ t-shirt.

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