YOUNGSTOWN - This week's Golden Apple award winner teaches physical education at Waller Elementary School in Youngstown. Coach Jimmy Black was nominated by a former student. Coach Black taught American History at Haney High School for years before the high school closed 5 years ago. Now he's in a new and very different role, that puts him on the front lines of a battle against what many call a national epidemic.
Students in Coach Black's P.E. class come ready to move, which is good, because Coach doesn't stop moving. "It's exciting, every day is a new day, especially when you have kindergarten through 5th grade. It's a challenge to get them to do new things," said Coach Jimmy Black.
Coach Black's emphasis this year is on student health and combating obesity. "Studies have shown that kids who participate in physical activity do excel at things much greater than those who have a sedentary lifestyle," said Coach Black.
And it's not just about movement. "He does exercise those brains as well as the body out there. He is working towards integrating our math, science, reading, and writing into his curriculum as well for that common core piece," said Principal Peggy Bunch.
It's easy to see making fitness fun is a high priority for Coach Black. "He is fun," said first grader Kaiden Creeden. "It's fun and we get to run laps," said Janie Croff.
After teaching American History for years at Haney High, the school's closure brought an unexpectedly sweet change for Coach. "Mr. Husfelt did me the greatest favor in the world by sending me here, cause this is something I really love to do."
Congratulations to Coach Jimmy Black, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher.