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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Students get taste of skiing


Students get taste of skiing

SKIING IN P.E.: La Grande Middle School students Lindsay Ackerman and Dusty Bell cross country ski on their school's soccer field Wednesday. (The Observer/LAURA MACKIE-HANCOCK).
SKIING IN P.E.: La Grande Middle School students Lindsay Ackerman and Dusty Bell cross country ski on their school's soccer field Wednesday. (The Observer/LAURA MACKIE-HANCOCK).

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

Learning to cross country ski is a kick, especially when the classroom is a soccer field and only a few feet away from your school.

La Grande Middle School students are discovering that this week. The students are learning how to ski, not in a mountain setting but on their soccer field.

LMS teacher Brita Bowersox is teaching the students in her six physical education classes how to Nordic ski and snowshoe. All instruction is being provided at a track around the LMS soccer field. The class has quickly come to be known as the Mount Sox Ski and Snowshoe School.

Ski classes started Wednesday and will end this afternoon.

The seventh- and eighth-graders are enjoying the opportunity to ski during the school day.

Its out of the ordinary. You just dont ski in PE, said seventh-grader Sara Thompson.

The opportunity was made possible by Greg and Deanna Hebard, owners of Blue Mountain Sports. The store is providing 20 sets of skis and four sets of snowshoes free of charge. Without the Hebards, the ski classes could not have been offered, Bowersox said.

What they did is amazing, she said.

The opportunity to teach cross country skiing was especially meaningful for Bowersox since about 75 percent of her students had never Nordic skied before.

The students included seventh-grader Leilani Poeling who said she had such a good time Wednesday that she wants to start cross country skiing regularly.

Bowersox was delighted to have the chance to teach Poeling and the others.

I have never had more fun teaching, Bowersox said.

She noted that skiing is bringing out the best in her students. Bowersox noted that when students n Continued from Page 1A

fall, their classmates rush to pick them up. Four students who spent much time helping get their classmates back on their feet on Wednesday afternoon included Cody Fisk, Meghan Schoenfelder, Jessy Reichoff and Rebecka Muilenburg.

The students followed their classmates on snowshoes looking for opportunities to assist them.

The students called themselves Ski Patrol On Snowshoes.

Additional students who have provided assistance include Michael Eckrich and Kendra Groves. The students helped Bowersox create a snow track by skiing around it about 10 times Tuesday.

Snow tossed at teacher

The conclusion of each class has been eventful since Bowersox has allowed students to toss as much snow at her as they can for 30 seconds. No snowball throwing, but Bowersox has been covered with snow after each class.

I tell them that it is the one chance they have to be silly without breaking the rules, Bowersox said.

The energetic LMS teacher is tired at the end of her ski classes but so are her students.

It is hard to get a group of middle school students truly exhausted. I accomplished that, Bowersox said after her final class Wednesday.

Reach Dick Mason at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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