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'ROLL MODELS'
Our "Roll Models" are PE teachers who have been teaching the Skate in School program for many years and have great success stories to share.

Shawn Bates (Ohio); Dave Battista (Pennsylvania); Jane Bergin (Massachusetts); Carol Ann Chiesa (New Jersey); Linda Craig (Colorado); Jeanne Fifer (Florida); Karla Harman (Idaho); Cathy Hill (Massachusetts); Cathrine Himberg (California); Georgia Krusell (Wisconsin); Misti Mitchell-Bain (Oklahoma); Donna Moore (Arizona); Sean Morris (Ohio); Mike Mustar (Minnesota); Lana Peterson-Pressler (Nebraska); Meredith Potter (Kentucky); Diane Ruby (Colorado); Debra Sension-Hall (Montana); Gale Strain (Florida); Anne Wheaton (Arizona)

SHAWN BATES
Physical Education Teacher
Longcoy Elementary
Kent, Ohio

Grades: 1-5

Number of students: 220/year

Number of years teaching Skate in School: 9 years.

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
In-line skating is their favorite unit I teach because everybody is successful and can self challenge without being judged by their peers.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
In-line skating is a great coordination activity that carries over to a variety of other sports and skills such as roller skating, ice skating, hockey and snowboarding. After a 40 minute PE class, they are worn out and happy.

Favorite thing about program:
I love how the kids grab onto the skills so quickly and can't wait to come back the next class period. They rush to get into PE and are so sad when class is over. I know when a student is hooked because I get emails from their parents asking where they can get a pair of skates just like the ones I use in class.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
The sooner the kids start to learn to skate, the easier it is for them to learn. Rollerblade has plenty of resources to help you get started and they will share the names of many educators that can help you get the program started. Organization is a must if you want your students to have a safe and meaningful experience. Once you start teaching skating, your kids will never let you stop!

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DAVE BATTISTA
Physical Education Teacher
Fox Chapel Area High School
Fox Chapel, Pennsyvania

Grades: 10-12

Number of students: 300/year

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 10 years.

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating: Very positive.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
The students who are true (scared) beginners gain a lot of self-confidence. The more experienced skaters are able to further their confidence in a safe manner (backwards skating, using ramps, etc.).

Favorite thing about program:
It opens the door for so many new activities. We have speed skating relays, biathlons (skating and nerf gun shooting), hockey, and really any tag/running games take on a whole new life on wheels.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
A program that deserves attention. Consider how/when the skates will be used. If outside, what is your terrain like? If inside, consider gym usage.

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JANE BERGIN
Physical Education Teacher
Lexington Public Schools
Lexington, Massachusetts

Grades: 9-12

Number of students: 275/quarter

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
The students in our Skate in School Program love this Elective.  We are fortunate to include a Fitness and Game Unit in the Curriculum.  Our culminating activity for this program is to use the town Skate Park for our final two lessons.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
We have seen students improve their Fitness Levels and build greater confidence levels as they master the skills of in-line skating.  The other aspect of this program is that it creates and enhances camaraderie amongst classmates.

Favorite thing about program:
Watching students improve their skating performances or personal fitness levels.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
This a great program that helps to improve Fitness Levels in children without using traditional methods.  Once students master the skills of skating they do not even realize the amount of calories they will burn as well the overall improvement in personal Cardiovascular Fitness.

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CAROL ANN CHIESA
Physical Education Teacher
Benjamin Franklin Middle School
Teaneck, New Jersey
See Carol's article on the Skate in School program in NASPE News here.

Grades: 5-6

Number of students: 22-28 per class

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
The kids love the skating program!

Favorite thing about program:
We skate mostly outside and I love the fact that the kids are getting so much activity.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
My advice for starting a program is just to get yourself organized. Talk to a school that is doing skating now, and keep on top of maintenance. In February of 2008, I presented our Skate in School program at our New Jersey AHPERD Conference in a presentation called, "You Can Really Integrate In-Line Skating into Your Curriculum."

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LINDA CRAIG
Physical Education Teacher
Challenger Middle School
Colorado Springs, CO

Grades: 6-8

Number of students: Nearly 300 8th-graders each year

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
We do Skate in School with only 8th-graders. They love that it's a unit the younger kids don't have. They view it as a privilege they have earned as upper classmen.

Favorite thing about program:
It gives our students a cardio workout without them even realizing it. They are amazed when they take their heart rate and discover it's in the working range. It builds social skills. As they practice their skating drills, they interact with their classmates in a different way than they do in a competitive sport or game. There are more opportunities for standard social interaction. It lets them be kids and they don't feel as much pressure to be cool or to perform. It's an individual sport where people can go their own speed without repercussions.

Not only do the kids love it and benefit from it, but parents and administrators love the program too. Just last week when I put in a purchase request to my principal for some new equipment, she stopped me in the hall and said, "My son loves your program. I am so glad you have put that into your curriculum."

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
My advice to someone just starting up would be to develop an organizational system that works well for you. I went through all of my pads and helmets, and color-coded them using three colors of permanent markers so that students could see at a glance what the sizes are. I then store each set of pads in drawstring bags so they're ready to go. When they put their equipment on, make sure there's enough space between each kid so that they don't get things mixed up. Worried about injuries? In my many years of teaching this, skating has proven to be very low incident.

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JEANNE FIFER
Former Physical Education Teacher/IB Program
PEP Grant Administrator
Stonewall Jackson Middle School
Orlando, Florida

Grades: 6-8

Number of students: 210/year

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: 24

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
Their favorite unit all year!

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
New type of activity in physical education, many have taken up the sport, and beginners are thankful for the opportunity to learn in a safe haven.

Favorite thing about program:
Seeing students achieve for the first time.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
Stick to the curriculum, cover the safety essentials and be organized!

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KARLA HARMAN
Physical Education/Wellness Teacher
Moscow High School
Moscow, Idaho

Grades: 10-12

Number of students: 200/year

Number of buildings the program is in: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in?
One by me but it has been added at our four elementary schools from my encouragement.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
They love skating inside and outside. They especially enjoy roller hockey.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
They learn quickly and increase their cardiovascular conditioning without having to run!

Favorite thing about program:
The excellent teacher support through lesson plans and ordering new and replacement equipment.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
Call Rollerblade to have them help with sizing. Develop a maintainance schedule to change out wheels and brakes...have the students help you.

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CATHY HILL
Physical Education Teacher
Newburyport Schools
Newburyport, Massachusetts

Grades: K-4

Number of students: 350/year

Number of years teaching Skate in School:
Taught it for three years to 3rd and 4th graders.

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
They loved it and couldn't wait to be in third grade so they could do it.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
Self confidence, enjoyment, willingness to try, increase in physical activity outside of school.

Favorite thing about program:
The excitement of a student who is just learning to skate and has finally gotten the sense
of balance and confindence.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
Give it a try with one grade first to try it out and get comfortable and then add other grades.

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CATHRINE HIMBERG
Physical Education Teacher Education Professor
Department of Kinesiology
California State University, Chico
Chico, California

Grades: University teacher preparation courses

Number of students: 100/year

Number of years teaching Skate in School: 10 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
They love it!

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
My students (future PE teachers) understand that in-line skating can be a fun, safe, and effective way to promote lifelong physical activity and fitness in the students they will teach. They also love learning how to break down the skills so that they can teach their own students in the future.

Favorite thing about program:
I love the fact that in-line skating is a lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity that can so easily be enjoyed both alone and with a group. Using the Skate in School program also helps me teach my students good teaching skills, teaching styles, class organization and management procedures, and motivation.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
At the university level: Make sure you take time to practice and learn the skills included in the
program. Get organized. Be prepared to answer questions about safety and liability issues.

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GEORGIA KRUSELL
Physical Education Teacher
Hudson Middle School
Hudson, Wisconsin

Grades: 6-8

Number of students: 350/year

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
Students love it. They can’t wait to skate. 

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
During the In-line Skate Unit students get their heart rates up, work up a sweat, and have fun doing it.  Students that normally wouldn't ever try skating get a chance to tryout a new lifetime leisure activity.

Favorite thing about program:
My favorite thing about the program is watching the students that skate well teach/help the apprehensive skaters.  All abilities can participate and have fun

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
You can do it!  Organization is the key to making it successful.  Students need to be taught to adhere to strict procedures of equipment use and return.  A great strategy to help with the program is soliciting help from parents or older students with items such as putting on equipment and equipment maintenance.  

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MISTI MITCHELL-BAIN
P.E. Teacher & Physical Education/Health Coordinator
Comanche Elementary School
Comanche, Oklahoma

Grades: PK-5th

Number of students: About 600; 45-50 At a time.

Number of years teaching Skate in School: About 10 years

Number of buildings the program is in: Elementary & Middle School

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
They love it. They always ask if we can spend more time skating.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
Behavior problems are minimized because students want to participate in the program so they act on their best behavior, students are more active & are more involved in skating outside of school which contributes to more exercise. 

Favorite thing about program:
The curriculum is already set out for you as a teacher and you don't have to look for ideas. 

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
It is very beneficial to you as a teacher and for students.  It gives students an alternative to exercising cardio & they enjoy every minute of the participation. 

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DONNA MOORE
Physical Education Teacher
PEP Grant Director
Julia Randall Elementary School
Payson, Arizona

Grades: 3-5

Number of students: About 550

Number of years teaching Skate in School: About 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: Four, including high school, middle school and elementary.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
In-line skating is always an extremely popular activity in our curriculum. It's different and something many students do outside of the Physical Education day. This gives all my students the opportunity to experience a great lifetime activitiy.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
The greatest benefit I have observed from in-line skating is that it has placed students in the teaching roles. I am not the best skater, even though they view their Physical Education teacher as the person who can do everything! Skating allows students to see the vulnerability in me. It brings out compassion and caring for other students as they assist classmates to improve their skills. My students even taught me how to skate backwards.
 
Favorite thing about program:
My favorite part of the Skate in School program is the camaraderie this program creates for kids. Activities are created that allow all students to feel included and successful.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
My advice would be to not let fear or lack of personal skating ability stop them. It's OK for students to be the expert in this area. It creates a different perspective when students are given the task of caring for their classmates and teacher.

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SEAN MORRIS
Physical Education Teacher
Fernway Elementary School
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Grades: K-4

Number of students: About 300

Number of years teaching Skate in School: About 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
Love it, Love it.  The in-line program is by far the most loved unit during the school year. Students in grades 1-4 participate 3 times/year in units focusing on safety and basic, intermediate, and advanced skills, as well as application of skills in games like in-line hockey, in-line basketball, in-line soccer, in-line team handball and many more. They run into the gym and do not speak, they are focused and motivated to have as much time as possible on wheels.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
Positive self concept and increased confidence.  Many of my students have purchased their own skates and are often seen zooming around on the blacktop afterschool.  It is success oriented and allows all chidren to set goals, reach them, and experience success and enjoyment at their own level of comfort.  Increase in coordination, balance, strength and dynamic movements with upper and lower body.
 
Favorite thing about program:
I love teaching activities that students can participate in for the rest of their life.  I feel quite fortunate to offer such an innovative program to my students at the elementary level.  I really enjoy skating with them and watching them develop over their 4 year term with me.  Hockey is huge in Shaker Heights, but you can't tell my 4th grade hockey players from those who have had me for 4 years with the in-line program!  

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
Your students will love you for it!  Advice for funding:  Have a "fund a need" at a school festival.  Have a pair of skates, helmet, and wrist, elbow, and knee pads available to view. The parents can make donations by buying a wrist pad for five dollars, or a pair of skates for 40 dollars, etc.  Before you know it, you will have enough funding to purchase for one or two grade levels.

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MIKE MUSTAR
Physical Education Teacher
Oak Park Elementary
Stillwater Area Schools, MN

Grades: Teach K-6, grades 3-6 do in-line skating.

Number of students: About 300

Number of years teaching Skate in School: Five years

Number of buildings the program is in:
Eight elementary schools, that have been sharing one fleet of skates. However, now I am purchasing a set just for our building.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
Students at Oak Park Elementary are very excited when they know the inline skating unit is coming up. We skate for a three-week period, so each student will get up to six opportunities to skate. Kids who love to skate can't get enough of it. Kids who don't ever get the opportunity to skate because they don't have skates, or have just been too scared to try before are surprised at how, after just a few times, they develop a love for it and want a pair of their own.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
This is an activity that really gets the kids moving. It's something new and different from the everyday physical education class that is not only fun but it also allows for some more advanced students to assist and help others so they can be successful also.
 
Favorite thing about program:
My favorite thing about the Skate in School program is what a great overall experience it is for my students regardless of their ability level. It's awesome to introduce something new to a student and know they will want to continue this outside of school. Some students will tell me they want a pair of inline skates for their birthday, when two weeks before they could barely stand up with them on!

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
Stop thinking about it and just do it! The students will love you for it! My students are always asking when we can get the skates back at our school. I am finally purchasing a set for our school so we don't have to share anymore. Now we can use them as often as we want!

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LANA PETERSON-PRESSLER
Former Physical Education Teacher
2010 NASPE Elementary Teacher of the Year
Rousseau Elementary School
Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, NE

Grades: 3-5

Number of students: About 300 each year.

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One currently.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
Most requested! They love it!

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
A CHALLENGE which brings confidence, self esteem, fun, and a new option for physical activity for ALL students, even those who may not enjoy more traditional activities.
 
Favorite thing about program:
See "positive benefits" and "reaction of students!" Students love to "brag" about our skating and I enjoy surprising parents and other colleagues when I share that skating is a part of our PE activities every year!

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
Do it now! Skate in School is a well-designed program that you can tailor to meet your environment needs (size of gym, equally good outdoors or in). It meets the interest and engagement needs of your students. It is one of those "unique" activities that students remember as a favorite for years to come and can take them into their young adulthood as a quality physical activity!

Parents and students will thank you when they can finally participate with confidence in school parties or a friend's birthday party or recreational skating at the local skating rink and skate park! Elementary age children want to learn to skate and getting the chance to teach them SAFETY first by including skating in their PE class is invaluable to parents who otherwise would struggle to keep their children safe on "wheels!" Skate in School resources (video, activity manuals, re-ordering forms) are well-designed, current and helpful! Equipment is durable, easy to fit, and good looking!

When interviewing for a new position, writing for a grant or program recognition, or advocating for quality PE in your school and community, it can separate your good program from other good programs as one that goes an extra step to find options for ALL students for great physical activity!


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MEREDITH POTTER
Health & Wellness Coordinator
Covington Independent Public Schools
Covington, Kentucky

Grades: 3-5

Number of students: About 135

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than five years

Number of buildings the program is in: Three.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
The programs I teach are to fight childhood obesity.  Already obese or overweight children do not like to engage in most physical activities but, they are very successful and enthusiastic with Skate in School.  I get 100 percent participation, determination and follow through from the very heavy and obese population.  They feel just like anybody else on skates.  It is awesome! Every time I see a former student they want to know if they can be in Skate in School again.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
We use this as a behavior incentive program.  Kids will do anything to get into Skate in School. The overweight students get a fantastic self-esteem boost and everyone gets a great workout.
 
Favorite thing about program:
How easy it is to put on and all of the rewards the students get from the program.  This is the one lifelong wellness activity that I teach that I know students will do for a lifetime once they learn.  I want to incorporate it into part of my staff wellness programs as well.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
I would recommend just doing it!!!  If you have a passion for reaching children in a positive way and feel the need to see smiles on children’s faces when they are exercising, this is the program for you.  It is so easy to teach and a blast to watch the smiles of successful children.

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DIANE RUBY
Physical Education Teacher
Longmont High School
Longmont, Colorado

Grades: 9-12

Number of students: In-line classes are capped at 24 students.

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
They love it!

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
Confidence, cardio, muscle toning, lifetime activity, team building, skate maintenance, consumer purchasing, trail and bike rules of the road, right of ways, hill usage, safety.
 
Favorite thing about program:
Getting off campus, skating around/outside of main street, distance days (6-10 miles), having block schedule (90 minutes), the response from the students, faculty, parents and community.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
Do it!

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DEBRA SENSION-HALL
Physical Education Teacher
Hellgate Middle School
Missoula, Montana

Grades: 7-8

Number of students: 280 students per year

Number of years teaching Skate in School: About 10 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One.

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
Students love this activity!  I am impressed with the rapid learning curve at this level. Students who start out cringing on day one end up breezing along at the end of a unit. The more skilled students enjoy playing hockey and skating backwards.  We have cones and obstacles for kids to skate around and/or under.  I have thrown beach balls and foam balls which they love to pass and bat around while skating.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
I am impressed with the creativity that this unit brings out in students. Shortly after the Olympics many were imitating the speed skating form of Apollo Ohno. They love to experiment with different games and courses to travel.  The manager of a  local store that sells in-line skates told me that he has seen an increase in the number of skates that are sold and that many of his customers mention that their son/daughter learned this activity in PE.  One student told me that he AND both of his parents bought skate equipment so that they could skate around the neighborhood together.  It is awesome to see the enjoyment of this activity expand beyond school.

Favorite thing about program:
I like the fact that this is something they can take with them and do throughout their lives. Students enjoy this program because they can challenge themselves and they can socialize while participating.  

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
Don't forget the music! Even though our students are too old to remember the "old fashion skating rinks" of yesterday they do enjoy the skating rink atmosphere that I remember as a kid. Vary the color of laundry baskets to designate pads for wrists, elbows and knees. It helps with organization.

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GALE STRAIN
Physical Education Teacher
Liberty Middle School
Orlando, Florida

Grades: 6-8

Number of students: 150/day

Number of years teaching Skate in School: Nearly 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: 24

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
Their faces just light up with the feeling of being successful and accomplishing a task that they couldn’t do before. I have had students rushing to class because that can’t wait to get the skates on and start skating.

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
Along with being a great fitness activity, it has proved to be a great socializing activity as they interact with their classmates as they are having fun in-line skating.
 
Favorite thing about program:
I enjoy the program because it has introduced in-line skating to students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to skate.  In-line skating allows students to learn and enjoy a fitness activity that can do for years to come.  It is great when a student that doesn’t know how to skate finally gets up and can make it around our skating area.

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
It is important to be organized as you do have to deal with a lot equipment. Be enthusiastic when presenting and you will see that even those who had doubts about the activity will soon be fully involved and having fun.

Watch this video, produced by Gale Strain, highlighting her Skate in School program at Liberty Middle School.

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ANNE WHEATON
Physical Education Teacher
Mesa Verde Elementary School
Tucson, Arizona

Grades: K-5

Number of students: 500/year

Number of years teaching Skate in School: More than 15 years

Number of buildings the program is in: One

Reaction of students to in-line skating:
It is a highlight unit during the school year! They love it!

Positive benefits from students in-line skating:
Many of my students through the years have gone on to purchase their own set of skates and make in-line skating one of the activites they do to keep their bodies healthy. Many of my student could not afford to take private Skate lessons , but because of the opportunity they have had in PE class they have the skills to in-line skate on their own.

Favorite thing about program:
The enthusiasm observed my students when we in-line skate in school!

Advice for colleagues who might be interested in starting a Skate in School program:
To throughly think through the implementation and study the skill and technique of in-line skating. It is imperative if you are teaching in the elementary grades that you have plenty of parent volunteers for safety as well as for support in getting into the gear properly. It is also very important to have a well organized system for getting out and putting away the gear. I have a cabinet with cubbies for the skates and protective gear so that all the gear stays in order as we go from class to class.

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