Fitness and Athletics
A conversation with Tom Salter, Athletic Director at CCMS and CCHS,
and Steve Siegal, Elementary PE Teacher
I started in 1999 as a football coach and PE teacher. I was also the assistant golf coach for ten years and became an Athletic Director for the CCHS in the Fall of 2012. Then, I started as the middle school Athletic Director three years ago. I am now the Athletic Director for the high school and middle school. I have been fortunate to be involved in high school athletics for over 35 years.
I have been teaching PE for over 20 years. I have had the pleasure of starting Elementary PE programs in Glendale and in Culver City. I have worked at all the elementary schools in Culver City either mentoring teachers or teaching PE. I also was the Physical Education Test coordinator for many years.
What makes CCUSD unique? TS: We are a family at CCUSD and our sports teams are a great make up of our diversity. CCUSD focuses on the student athlete and promoting opportunities beyond high school. We have had a number of our students receive athletic and academic scholarships over the years. As a single middle school and high school district, we can focus on a 6th grade through 12th grade Athletic program. We all work together to make it an easy transition from middle school to high school. Our vision is for every student to have a great experience in PE and playing sports at CCUSD, then continue with vision is a must and so on.
Describe your vision for the fitness and athletics experience: TS: Our vision is for every student to have a great experience in Physical Education and playing sports at CCUSD. There is more focus being placed on cardiovascular and overall fitness by having better access to equipment. CCUSD has coaches that are like personal trainers for the students. Facilities such as field turfs, weight room, clean gyms, and tennis courts create enticing spaces for students to stay active. Sports are now year-round and students often play multiple sports. Even the students who don’t play sports, can stay active. Students play sports so they can have fun and play, not only just to become a competitive athlete.
SS: My vision has always been and continues to be to teach fundamental skills while introducing a wide variety of activities to all students. The standards-based curriculum teaches skills that students can build on. Students of all skill levels will find fun and challenging activities on a daily basis. We are laying the foundation for students to enjoy sports and fitness for life. My vision includes seeing students smiling, laughing, and playing with friends as well as making new friends while getting education in PE.
Is there anything preventing you from achieving your vision, if at all? SS: My vision is hindered by the number of students in each class. The teacher to student ratio is extremely high. Our facilities were upgraded but we need yearly maintenance. Space is also an issue because of our growing student population. The bathroom facilities need to be upgraded. Students enjoy their elementary physical education experience and I plan on continuing to create a fun, safe, program going forward.
TS: Our facilities and equipment need to be updated to support our PE and Athletics program. Our Better facilities are always improving, and better facilities will help students develop and support lifelong healthy living habits and the mind/body connection.