gram. “One thing I notice is I am more attentive. Sometimes my body aches but that's from the workout the day before. It's the most exercise I've ever gotten. It was very challenging to start. I was so out of shape that getting halfway through the pool I'd be tired. Now that's not really an issue.” Benches outside the squash courts are always warmed with an-
here, but once they exercise, they are glad they did. It (exercise) wasn't the first thing on my to do list, but this sets me on a track for the rest of my life.” Seventeen-year-old Casey Yans smiles when she talks about the modified version of boot camp. “I look forward to it every day, and being with my friends boosts my confidence.” Among the many who know the social repercussions of a program at Eagle Hill is Chris Hancock, Assistant Headmaster for Student Life. Hancock, who is no stranger to the world of boarding schools, says the latest innovative move did not take him by surprise. SPARK is “Completely unlike any program and that's true to form for Eagle Hill. We have long been pioneers. This school was founded in the late 60s around the advent of learning disabilities— our location, the building of the Cultural Center, and now SPARK is just the next generation of what we do here. “There is a rapidly increasing sense of school pride. Yesterday when I went down to a soccer game, there were fifty kids down there; twenty were playing, but the others were rooting them on. I don't know if this is directly related to SPARK or campus growth, but it's pretty noticeable. The facility and program is incredible. It has transformed not only how we think about exercise, but the community spirit here. It's become a centerpiece for what we do.”
ticipating partakers. “I would say in general the students are a lot happier. This time of the day gives them a sense of independence and they help each other,” says Blake Mallet, one of the many roaming advisors at the school who encourage students each day. “3, 2, 1! Here we go! Come on! Keep going! Only 20 seconds left! Burn all that energy! You can do it!” The coaxing voice of Exercise Physiologist Hannah May rings through the air in the fitness training center, which incorporates high impact cardio with weight training. The personal trainer, with degrees in nutrition, psychology, and learning disabilities, has already witnessed changes in students. “From the moment they walk in I can see that they are not focused. But by the end they are listening better,” she says, her eyes perusing her stop watch and the perspiring students simultaneously. Her motto adorning the wall displays an important reminder: “Eat Well, Move Daily, Hydrate Often, Sleep Lots, Love Yourself, Repeat for Life.” “It's a love/hate relationship,” confesses Dan Feinblatt, a native of Long Island. “Students may grunt and groan about getting
26 Eagle Hill School 2012–2013
“Students may grunt and groan about getting here, but once they exercise, they are glad they did. It (exercise) wasn't the first thing on my to do list, but this sets me on a track for the rest of my life.” - Dan Feinblatt Merely underway, and SPARK is getting rave reviews from parents. For Richard St. Jean, an invitation to an afternoon game of squash from his son, Matt, proved an eye opener. “The most impressive observation was the energy and smiles I could see on all the kids' faces. They did not want to leave to go to dinner. They were all engaged in sports with faculty and advisors who were just as excited about being active,” he reports.
Published on Oct 29, 2013