Teacher turns PE into art form

Other Staff

Eunie McEntee: An FC legend, FC institution

Years ago, a young girl led her friends to her backyard tree. She draped a blanket over a branch creating a makeshift tent. They climbed inside and took their seats while the young girl sat in front to lead her “class.” Eunie McEntee smiled and thought about the day to come when she would do this in a real classroom.

“I always wanted to teach,” McEntee, physical education teacher, said. “I would play teacher and my twin brother was the student.”

However, when McEntee was in high school, she put aside her dreams of teaching, for awhile, and focused on sports.

“I was a swimmer and diver,” McEntee said. “I did track and basically everything. My brother and I did stuff together. That’s why I was so interested in sports.”

McEntee’s love of sports continues today while she teaches students beneficial physical education.

“It [jump roping] is a good lifetime physical activity,” McEntee said. “While it won’t be advertised by TV gimmicks, it’s easy to travel with and it offers an opportunity to get kids in shape.”

McEntee believes jump roping to be more than a just game.

“It really is an art form,” McEntee said. “There are so many creative things that you can do, like routines. There are also competitions.”

Jump roping is not the only thing McEntee does to get students in shape.

“I did a jogging unit,” McEntee said. “Students jogged across the United States. You know, high school is the only time you are going to do stuff like lacrosse or team handball.”

McEntee knows there are standards that need to be set in physical training besides exercise.

“Eating and cooking habits are important,” McEntee said. “Eating with family is the most important thing. And never ask if you have to dress out for PE!”

McEntee has tried her hand at a variety of teaching jobs besides PE.

“Bible was my favorite,” McEntee said. “I was the gymnastics coach at Clovis High. I started an after school program that eventually became the Clovis Academy. That was many years ago.”

McEntee was the first person Principal Gary Schultz met 25 years ago when he came to campus. He was saddened this year when he heard she was going to leave.

“She’s been here as long as I have,” Schultz said. “She’s institutional. She’s as much a part of FCS as anyone. She’s a very caring and loving person. Eunie┬áturns PE into art form.”

Schultz has many favorite memories of McEntee.

“Mrs. Mac puts on a faculty luncheon every year before school starts,” Schultz said. “It shows her creativity. She is the most creative person I know. It gets us excited about coming back to school.”

Schultz knows McEntee is one of a kind, but he has to start looking for someone to fill her position.

“I have five applicants already,” Schultz said. “I have lots of people begging for her job. It will be hard to replace Mrs. Mac.”

After 33 years of teaching, McEntee does not like to think about redirecting her life.

“It’s hard for me to think I’m not going to be teaching,” McEntee says, while holding back tears. “Many things have made me laugh.”

From July to the end November, 2004, McEntee and her husband will be serving in Belgium.

“We’ll be doing cooking and cleaning for missionaries that come over,” McEntee said. “We’ll be working with B.L.F. [Biblical Literature Fellowship]. They print Christian literature in French. Most of all, we want people to pray for us.”

It is not only fellow coworkers who will miss McEntee. Makenzie Powell, ’05, has known McEntee since kindergarten and was upset to hear she was leaving.

“She has a good spirit,” Powell said. “You can see Christ shining through her.”

Powell was also involved with McEntee in her elementary days.

“I did cheerleading when I was in elementary,” Powell said. “Mrs. Mac was always very encouraging.”

Powell remembers something that has never changed about McEntee.

“She’s always peppy,” Powell said. “She never has a down day. If she leaves, the school will experience a great loss.”

For more on competitive jump roping, visit http://www.usajrf.org/u_faq.asp.

McEntee’s 300 and 400 jump rope club are:
300 Club: Emily Boyko, Bethany Moore, Makenzie Powell, Breanne Gandolfo, Dori Richardson, Annie Spees and Emily Goertzen.
400 Club: Robin Dietrich, Corinne Pogue and the top jumper, Sena Lee.

 

Randy Hill, Senior editor “Surprises are always right around the corner in Eunie McEntee’s, left center, cheer class. Mac’s eccentric behavior has been known to create an enjoyable reprieve from tiresome academic studies.