With nearly 160 students combining to fill up two three-week sessions of gym class held during the peak of summer vacation, it is safe to say that the secret is out about these unique, optional courses offered at CJ—they are a blast!
John Zaidain, CJ physical education teacher, helped increase the popularity of the summer gym program, which started roughly seven years ago with only 60 participants, by arranging fun activities throughout Dayton for students in both sessions. Entering his 39th year at CJ, Zaidain taught the first session from June 13 through July 1, 2011 with help from instructors Brad Kassner, science teacher; Kelly Muhl, administrative assistant in the Guidance Office; and Adam Mintz, physical education teacher at Holy Angels.
“The school wanted to offer the option to kids to take gym in the summer so that they could get more classes in during the school year,” Zaidain explained, an alternative that has worked well for Kyle Shoup ‘14. Taking gym both this summer and last has allowed the sophomore to fulfill his physical education requirement and make room for courses including Spanish and Engineering through Project Lead the Way, but he recommends taking advantage of the program for many reasons.
“It’s the best way to get involved with the CJ community before you step in the building,” Shoup said. Students, especially incoming freshman, have a chance to meet classmates before the first day of school while participating in 15 different activities, both on and off campus, over 15 days. Students in the first session enjoyed laser tag in Centerville, ice skating at South Metro Sports near Springboro, playing field games at Athletes in Action in Xenia, and competing in small groups on the track at the University of Dayton, among other things.
“The new thing this year was staying on campus and using our new Student Conditioning Center,” said Zaidain. On-campus activities also included climbing a rock wall and maneuvering through a high ropes and low ropes course set up across from the school building on Washington Street (pictured above).
“We got to do a lot more things in the summer that we couldn’t do in a regular gym class,” said Alex Zavakos, an incoming freshman from Holy Angels. “I’ve met a lot of kids from different schools that I didn’t know before.”
The second session of summer physical education began on Tuesday, July 5 under the instruction of CJ faculty and staff members Andy Helms and Charlie Szabo, and will conclude on Monday, July 25. Information regarding registering for the 2012 summer physical education program or summer health class will be distributed with the 2012-2013 registration information in January 2012.