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VCHS advisors win awards, NFLer speaks

May 10, 2012

Former National Football League player John Taylor learns the Cha Cha Slide, a dance done at Valley City High School home sports games. Taylor was on hand to speak to students during an assembly at the school on Wednesday where three VCHS staff members received awards from the “Fuel Up to Play 60 Program.”

Three Valley City High School staff members were recognized as “Advisors of the Year” for the “Fuel Up to Play 60 Program,” an in-school nutrition and physical activity program developed by the National Dairy Council, Midwest Dairy Council and the National Football League.

Food and consumer sciences teacher Beth Beckers, Sue Milender, the schools food services director, and physical education instructor Trevor Bakalar received their awards at a presentation at the VCHS theater on Wednesday, which included a visit from former NFL player John Taylor.
There are over 70,000 schools across the country involved in the Fuel Up program. VCHS also took first place in the program’s Physical Activity Challenge and the Healthy Eating Challenge. There are currently 10 students on the Fuel Up team with ample room for more to join.

“I love this program and the fact that it’s put into the kids hands at the schools to help each other make those decision,” Taylor said.

Taylor, a fourth round draft pick from Montana State University Bozeman, played defensive end for the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons, and currently works at MSUB as student athlete affairs administrator, where he received a degree in health and human development.

He spoke to the students about the importance of being active in a variety of different sports and activities, and making healthy decisions when it came to food.

One important factor he stressed was something a trainer in the NFL had told him: “He taught me one of the easiest things to remember about eating healthy is having a lot of color on your plate. The darker the vegetable, typically the more nutrition that’s in it for you, and your body’s going to pull more out of it.”

Taylor also told the students that making healthy dairy choices are important as well, not just as a pitch for the dairy councils that sponsor the Fuel Up program, but something he learned from his wife.

“I used to just like cheddar cheese and that would be the only cheese I ate. Then I found out about all these other cheeses and if you open our fridges we have 10 different cheeses on the door that we eat quite a bit. Now that I have kids of my own and try to help guide them make healthy food choices, I think it’s more important now to pay attention to what we’re eating.”

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