New program encourages fitness at Horn Lake High - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

New program encourages fitness at Horn Lake High

HORN LAKE, MS (WMC-TV) - A common New Year's resolution for many is exercise.  Now, for teachers and administrators at Horn Lake High School, a new program is making fitness a major priority for the new year.

"I'm excited about having an accountability group that's really gonna push me," drama teacher Cara Smith said. "My husband's even getting involved, and I talked to some students over the break, and they're excited and it's motivating them."

The program, called 'Health Matters,' is part of a team concept conceived by principal Jim Ferguson to help Horn Lake High's entire staff get healthy.

"We're encouraging our teachers to exercise 25 minutes a day," Ferguson said. "Encouraging them to lose weight, do their one thousand dollar health and wellness visit that's provided by the state of Mississippi."

The school is partnering with HQ Fitness in Hernando. Owner Robert Rayborn is a former student, and wanted to help out.

"I gave the teachers a 30 day membership deal free of charge," Rayborn said. "It doesn't matter wherever they went, as long as they went somewhere and got in shape.  That's all that matters."

Teacher Tobie Pillstrom loves the idea, and is doubly motivated to lose weight this year.

"I am the matron of honor for a friend in June, and so my goal is to lose about 40 pounds, and also to not be as exhausted with I teach all day and then come home with a 2 and 6 year old," Pillstrom said.

Horn Lake High Schools is the first school in its district to incorporate a fitness program for its entire staff. Ferguson says he hopes that not only his students, but other schools within the district, will follow suit.

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