Galena Park Independent School District fifth graders participated in the 6th annual Olympiad at North Shore Senior High stadium. The district-wide celebration allows students from every elementary school to compete in 20 different athletic events. The Olympiad has become an occasion for all elementary students to look forward to in 5th grade. Activities range from relay races to tug-of-war, but all focus on team achievement. Each elementary physical education teacher helps 5th grade students to prepare for the event during the course of the year.
One of the originators of the Olympiad, Mr. Randy Marshall physical education teacher for Jacinto City Elementary School said, “GPISD Elementary schools used to have a track meet against each other at Dement field in the late 60's. As a Coach and PE teacher I had been involved in this type of event for eight years with another school district…but as a Galena Park graduate, I thought it would be a great idea to tie in some of the old traditions with the new stadium here in Galena Park ISD,” said Marshall.
Mr. Ed Warken Director of Athletics for Galena Park ISD also added, “Six years ago we planned this event….and divided the 15 schools into two groups ‘Stars’ and ‘Stripes’. The teachers from each school could place three different students in each of the 20 events. We give ribbons for each event (8 places) and each 5th grader receives a medal at the end of the day.” ‘You are a champion’ is inscribed on the back of each medal to affirm the efforts of each student.
On this day one of those fifth graders representing Williamson Elementary in the tug-of-war event was the son of Galena Park Middle School Principal Mr. Chris Blake. “What makes the Olympiad special? It is the fact that fifteen elementary schools come together, all of which represent Galena Park ISD, for a day of friendly competition. It is also a day where all students succeed together. For my son, it was an opportunity for him to join together with his friends and classmates to work as a team…win or lose…knowing they did their best to represent their school, which they are very proud of," said Mr. Blake. “The Galena Park ISD Olympiad displays the fact that today’s youth must work together to achieve their goals...and that they can! Each school is represented with excitement, enthusiasm and with a passion to succeed…all of which are characteristics necessary to succeed in life,”Blake concluded.
The GPISD 5th Olympiad will continue to be an event for students to look forward to each year.