Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Surprise Visit: U.S. Army Recruiters Train Pascack Hills students

Seniors Jamie Spelling and Anya Balsamides with Army recruiters. Photo from Jamie Spelling

By Jamie Spelling and Anya Balsamides

On Friday April 15, United States Army recruiters surprised gym classes at Pascack Hills High School with the U.S. Army Challenge. Working alongside Andrea Padelsky, the group of five recruiters had arranged for Hills students to experience the U.S. Army’s everyday exercise routine–in moderation, of course. Students had the opportunity to participate in six different stations and earn awards based on their performance.

Staff sergeant Killian, one of the recruiter representatives, explained the setup for the seven Pascack Hills gym classes. “It’s like a regular gym class for them; they change, we go through about a five-minute warmup,” he explained. “There are six stations they rotate through: eight count push-ups, burpees, medicine ball throws, mountain climbers, push ups, and sit-ups.”

The group of five recruiters consisted of staff sergeants Killian, Leblanc, Saye and Pvt. Oppenlaender and another officer who wished to remain unnamed. Dressed mostly in black Army t-shirts with matching Army shorts, the men set out to “show the kids some of the workouts we do in the Army and give them a better understanding of our daily exercises.”

While SSG Killian stated the goal of the day’s activities was for the students to try as hard as possible, exceptional students were able to win awards. One of these students was Pascack Hills senior Libbe Christophel, who won a T-shirt.

“We walked into gym expecting to have a normal gym hockey or volleyball day but we saw about five guys in Army t-shirts and shorts so we knew something was up,” stated Christophel. “At the beginning they said two girls and two guys who tried the hardest were going to win a small prize.”

Although this is the first time Pascack Hills has participated in such an activity, the event has proven to be worthwhile.

“Having the U.S. Army Challenge at Pascack Hills was a great experience for all students,” reflects Padelsky, the main event coordinator. “Regardless of ability level or strength, all students were able to challenge themselves through the participation in fitness training stations.”

Students have gained a new understanding of Army training and the hard work that accompanies being a member of the U.S. Army. As observed by Padelsky, this event once again parallels the Pascack Hills philosophy. Students have gained a raw sense of what strong work ethic, dedication, mental strength, and pride it takes to be a part of military life.


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