William Byrd Middle School physical education teachers Lyndsey Partsch, Bill Pratt, and Ben
Munsey are thrilled to announce that the Olympics have officially begun for eighth grade
elective classes at the school.
This unique unit provides approximately 170 students with an invaluable opportunity to delve
into the intricacies of how the Olympics operate, while also actively participating in the events
that our Olympic athletes excel in.
“We believe that this experience will not only cultivate a deeper understanding of global athletic
competition but will also inspire our students to pursue physical activity and explore new sports
in a controlled and competitive environment.
“To amplify the authenticity of this experience, our classes have been divided into four distinct
countries, each led by a student-appointed ‘President’ responsible for ensuring that all members
of their respective nations participate in events daily. In addition, students will have the privilege
of designing a flag and selecting an anthem for their designated country, fostering a sense of
pride and camaraderie within their teams.
“One of the most exciting elements of our Olympic-inspired festivities is the medal ceremony.
For every event, the top three teams or individuals will be awarded gold, silver, or bronze
medals. During this ceremony, we aim to replicate the grandeur of the actual Olympic Games by
raising the victorious country’s flag and playing their anthem, creating a truly immersive
experience for all involved. Furthermore, we have established a display showcasing the medal
count for each country and captured captivating images of the award ceremonies.
“The Olympics give each student a chance to win,” said Partsch. “Not all of our events are
physical. Some require lots of thought and teamwork. This is where we get to see students
become leaders who are normally more reserved in PE.
“We are deeply grateful to our medal sponsor, Mr. Jason Boothe from Mountain View Real
Estate LLC, whose generous support has played a pivotal role in making this event a reality. His
commitment to our students and their educational experiences is truly commendable.”
“It was a no-brainer to me when I was approached about the Olympics, knowing that they
needed the money for the medals to pull it off,” said Boothe. “My hope is that every kid would
have something to compete for and have a winner declared.
“Opening week was a success in which our students competed in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and
800-meter races. There were 16 students who competed in each race with the winners of three
individual heats moving on to the finals.
“The effort that they put forward in these races was amazing, to say the least. Ultimately, our
three medalists were decided, and the excitement ramped up as we moved forward into the shot
put, 4 x 400 relay, and our team competitions.
“After polling the eighth grade students about what their favorite events were so far, they were
split between tug-o-war and a cooperative game called Crossing the River.
“Both of these events required the students to work together. Each country got to select a teacher
to help their team with Tug-O-War. Some of the teachers brought their classes down to watch
while they competed. It has been a fun way to get other grades and subjects involved in the
This week team competitions in basketball, soccer, hockey, and volleyball have gotten
Some comments from students on the WBMS Olympics experience include:
- “The Olympics have given us a fun new way to be active.” -Hayden Chappell
- “It’s been fun playing against the other countries.” -Christian Hodges
- “The best part has been having fun with my friends and winning gold medals.” -Caeden
“This has been a lot of work to plan, but has been more than worth it,” said Pratt. “The kids have
been having a blast and getting the community involved has been the icing on the cake.”
To see more of what goes on in the WBMS PE program visit Instagram at @WBMS_PE.
Submitted by William Byrd Middle School