South High Physical Education Program is Awarded Grant


Blake Posewitz, Editor

Mr. Peter Toutenhoofd points out where the rock wall is going to be put in. The Redwing Gym will soon be home to the new rock wall that is part of the grant.

This school year the Kohler | Johnsonville Advanced Technology Center isn’t the only new addition to South. South has received a grant that includes a rock wall that is 32 feet wide with eight belay stations, a class set of spinning bikes, and new heart monitors for the Physical Education program, as well as a way to help start organized sports at each public middle school in Sheboygan. This grant wasn’t easy to get, and it didn’t just come to mind in the past few months–Mr. Peter Toutenhoofd has put countless hours over the past years to get this grant. He stated,

“The grant has been a 4-year process.  We hoped to submit it after the first year but the grant was not fully funded at the federal level.  Each additional year we hoped to submit it but lack of funding kept pushing off the allowance of open applications for the grant.  Finally in April of this year the department of education opened up grant to the nation. Only 16 school districts were awarded of 350 applications.”

Toutenhoofd and the rest of the Physical Education department is looking to capitalize on these additions and will try to change students’ lives after high school. The department has created “Spirit of the Lake”, better explained in the formula shown here:                                                  

  • Lifelong physical activity among Sheboygan students;
  • Alignment of our physical education and nutrition education curricula with state standards, including individualized assessment protocols that grow with students;
  • Knowledge about good nutrition, fitness concepts, and self-management skills to help students set and achieve personal health goals;
  • Engaged and empowered students who independently participate in physical activity for fun in and out of school.Another main reason to get this grant was to start organized middle school sports. Senior Evan Horen explained why this is so important, “I think it’s a great opportunity for middle schoolers. I remember when I was there and there wasn’t any school sports. I was disappointed and confused because I always went to the South sporting events and wondered why we didn’t have that.” There are over 1,300 middle schoolers between Farnsworth, Horace Mann, and Urban, and this number doesn’t include the Sheboygan Area private schools. Toutenhoofd and many others have the mindset of improving the physical activity outside of school. He stated,

    “The grant will benefit all of our SASD schools that put forth a considerable amount of time and

    Mr. Peter , the man responsible for harnessing this grant for South High
    Mr. Peter Toutenhoofd, the man responsible for harnessing this grant for South High

    effort into writing the 108-page grant.  A considerable factor in us receiving the grant will be the introduction of a Middle School Sports Program.  These sports will aim to limit reasons for students to not participate through earlier practices/games and limited financial impact for families. In addition, we aim to increase expectations for our middle school athletes that participate by demonstration of respect, responsibility, effort, pride, and commitment to their education and community.”

    The goal of the grant is to not only improve personal lives for after high school but to better the community.  Junior Steven Yang stated,

    “I do think it starts by affecting a single person before affecting a community. If this grant has the opportunity to do that, I’m all for it. I think it will positively impact South students lives not only for their fours of high school but also for the years after.” Look for these new additions during second semester.