A Lemon Grove School District elementary school principal has received
the state’s top award for a school physical fitness program.
Rick Oser, Principal of Golden Avenue School, received the Governor’s
Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Principal of the Year Spotlight
Award, and a $10,000 check, for his powerful efforts to improve the
health and fitness of students at his school.
“This definitely shows that when we work together, anything is
possible,” Oser said, to the delight of an auditorium full of Golden
Avenue students. “Our family members are a big part of this too, and so
is every member of our Golden Avenue staff.”
Three members of the Lemon Grove School District Board of Trustees were
on hand for the recognition. Trustees Jay Bass, Katie Dexter, and Tim
Shaw, as well as district superintendent Ernie Anastos, each offered
Also in the audience was San Marcos Middle School Principal Brian
Randall, whose school earned the Bronze Medal, or third place, in the
Governor’s Council program. Randall received a check for $1,000 for his
The Comprehensive Wellness Program Oser developed in 2007 has generated
unprecedented resources to support students’ physical and emotional
wellness, as well as promoting healthy lifestyles and providing children
with better access to healthcare. Daily physical education, a school
jogging club, and grant-funded violence prevention activities are all
part of the Golden Avenue program.
Oser said the fitness and wellness efforts have coincided with
significant growth in Golden Avenue’s academic achievement, as measured
by California’s Standardized Testing and Reporting program (STAR).
The number of students scoring proficient or above in English Language
Arts has jumped from 21 to 48 percent. In math, 52 percent of the
students are now proficient or above, up from 38 percent. And in
science, the percent scoring proficient or above jumped from 17 to 51
“The students are so motivated to get out there and be active, and that
motivation continues when they come back into the classroom,” said
Golden Avenue first grade teacher Shelley Birch. “I feel like they’re
more ready to learn when they’ve had a chance to get their energy out.”