Spotlight on the P.E. Department

Esat Saiti, Daniel Jimenez, Charlie Van & Fernando Olivares, Reporter

In high school, students are required take many different classes from various subjects to graduate. Physical education is one of those subjects, and arguably one of the most important. Physical fitness and nutrition are integral skills for living a healthy life. West takes measures to prepare its student body for a healthy life by teaching these skills through the numerous PE classes, and more than 75 percent of the student body will take a PE course in high school, preparing them for practicing healthy habits for life.

At West Anchorage High, the P.E. department consists of many different classes including, but not limited to: weight training; basketball; yoga; volleyball; racquet sports; aerobics; and individual recreational sports.

Head of the P.E. Department, Robert Larkey, has been in the school district for 21 years and has picked up quite the number of skills. Larkey has been head of department at West for seven years and has made a huge impact. He spearheaded the remodel of the weight rooms with all new machines, benches, free weights, and cardio machines.

Larkey says “all of the students in the PE program are capable of being successful. I offer kids individual workout programs which helps them get on track to meet their goal.” He has had kids lose anywhere from two pounds all the way to 25 pounds. Larkey has tried to make an impact on every one of his students as best as he can.

Larkey and head football coach Tim Davis have partnered up to introduce a new program for this next school year. The program will consist of students being able to keep track of their diet, lifting and time spent working out all electronically through an app. Larkey said, “I’m glad we can finally have an effective way to help students keep track of their workout, and guide them on the right direction.”

Student athlete Alex Alvarez, a senior, is enrolled in Advanced Weight Training. He has been taking gym classes since his freshman year to improve his skills for baseball season. Alvarez said,  “I’m taking the gym class to help me get ready physically for baseball season, to help build my stamina.” He’s been in baseball since he was a freshman and says the class helped him improve his workout skills. Alvarez has learned a lot of workout techniques and some for specific areas he wants to work on. Overall he says West has a great P. E. department a lot of kids work out there and achieve the goals they set for themselves.

Body Builder Aaron Medina, senior, has been taking weight training since his freshman year. Medina thinks the West High P.E Program is amazing. Medina has lost a lot of weight and gained a lot muscle these past few years with the help of Larkey. Medina thinks the equipment at West is great but thinks it could use better lateral pulldown machines. Medina’s goal is to be stronger mentally and physically.