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PE Assistants learn leadership skills


 Andrew Clegg (right) and Nicole Fowler take the elective PE Assistant class, which gives them experience working with younger students in physical education.

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications      

They are not drill sergeants. And not one of them has shouted “Drop and give me 20!” to a freshman, but they are learning leadership skills. At Scecina, they are called Physical Education Assistants. 

All students take the state-required two credits of physical education in order to graduate. Once those credits are out of the way, elective PE classes offer opportunities for students who want to learn more about physical education or get more physical activity. 

Physical Education Assistant is a PE elective that also helps build leadership skills. PE assistants are upperclassmen who work in regular PE classes, usually taken by freshmen. 

Because one teacher can’t be everywhere in a PE class with students in constant motion, an assistant can help keep order. They set up equipment, organize games and sports, demonstrate skills, and offer encouragement. Students study physical development concepts and principles of sport and exercise. While teaching underclassmen, they can refine their own skills and attitudes, which can lead to lifelong fitness. 

Department chair Kurt Guldner said PE assistants are “a tremendous asset” to the success of Scecina’s physical education classes. 

“From the simple setup and tear down of equipment, demonstrating proper technique to the freshmen, to assisting in teaching of activities, they do it all,” he said. “I believe they also learn important leadership skills that will be beneficial to them in the future.” 

Nicole Fowler, who went to Little Flower Catholic School, has been a PE assistant during her senior year. 

“I really like this class because they’re pretty mature for freshmen,” she said. “And I get to interact with freshmen that I probably never would have interacted with.” 

Nicole isn’t pursuing physical education as a career; she plans to go to law school after college at Indiana State University. Still, she loves being a PE assistant. “It’s a lot of fun,” she said, and a nice break from her regular classes. 

She helps Mr. Guldner prepare the gym for class activities and takes care of setting up and putting away equipment. She’s also learning how to deal with teens and to be a leader. “The freshmen ask a lot of questions,” she said. 

Scecina’s Health and Physical Education Department incorporates Catholic identity by teaching students the importance of health, physical activity and making good choices that respect their bodies. Students also must learn fair play, sportsmanship, and teamwork with a diversity of people and work towards a common goal. Mr. Guldner said at Scecina it is all about educating the whole person: spirit, mind, and body. 

Other PE courses include Health (required), Elective PE (conditioning and self-improvement) and Elective PE II, which is geared toward students who show “an above average interest and ability in physical education through participation on a high school athletic team.” 

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