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MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 24, 2014 – To exhibit their Olympic spirit, students and teachers at John Paul I Junior High School in St-Léonard kicked off a school-wide collaborative activity: a cardio event where they will be covering the 8500 km to travel from Montreal to Sochi.

Walk into the cafeteria at John Paul I and you will notice more than just tables and chairs. The walls, ceiling, glass displays and doors are covered in Olympic themed artwork and designs. Needless to say, Olympic energy is in full force and Vice Principal   Tanya Alvares couldn’t be happier:

“I’m a huge fan of the Winter Olympics,” she said. “We had a staff meeting and discussed that it would be great if each departement could think of some Olympic themed assignments and incorporate them into their curriculum during the period that the Olympics were being held.”

Most of those projects are currently being displayed in the cafeteria and around the school. Also in the cafeteria are three stationary rowing machines. What is their purpose? Ms. Alvares explains:

“We wanted to link the Olympics to our physical education program and enable all the students to be able to participate,” she said. “I think it is important to stress to the students that in order to be in the Olympics, the athletes have to train hard. We wanted activities where we could work together as a team, cheer each other on and still stay fit. That’s where the idea to do the 8,500 km to reach Sochi came into play. It is all about time, one minute of rowing for teachers is ten km and one minute for students is five kilometres.”

As well as rowing, the physical education staff organized a snowshoe race for the students and teachers. The students were divided into four teams: Canada, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Staff was grouped together and formed a team called educators. As the teams raced, the competition had ongoing commentary from physical education teacher   Nevio Marzinotto and history teacher Shawn Dorman, making the race look and feel like a true Olympic event.

“It is a lot of fun doing activities with the students so that is why I chose to participate,” said math teacher Mr. Tony Silvilla. “It is a great message to the students because it shows them that the teachers are active. We want to promote health and fitness so what better way than being role models ourselves.”

With all the energy and Olympic spirit felt at John Paul I High School, it will be only a matter of days until they reach Sochi.


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213