Pinewood’s Cheryl Gough and her Jump Rope for Heart Success

Pinewood’s Physical Education teacher Cheryl Gough has been teaching at Pinewood for 19 years, her dedication and passion reflected in her many endeavors, though most noticeably her efforts in leading her students in the nationwide educational and fundraising program, Jump Rope for Heart, led by the American Heart Association and the Society of Health and Physical Education. Retiring at the end of the year, Gough will leave Pinewood having led students to raise the most funds for the Jump Rope for Heart Association in Pinewood’s many years of being involved in the program.

In its sixteenth year at Pinewood, the program entails a fundraising program for kids, complete with incentives such as personal prizes and physical equipment for the school, along with an hour of school-wide jump-roping. In this, students can learn the value of community service and become empowered to contribute to their community’s welfare, join together in helping other kids with special hearts, learn how to develop heart-healthy habits while being physically active, and learn jump rope skills they can use for the rest of their lives.

“This program is important because it allows students to raise money for others; those who suffer from heart disease.” said Gough. “It also serves to educate students about the dangers of some lifestyle choices that may contribute to health problems over time. Jump Rope for Heart is especially dear to my heart since my father suffered from heart disease.”

This year, Pinewood students raised $7,300.00 for the American Heart Association, having exceeded their goal of $7,000. Gough states that students were extremely determined to reach their goal and reached out to family and teachers to donate in person and online.

Gough chose a path in physical education after the positive influence of her former Elkhart Community Schools Physical Education teachers and coaches, in order to share with children her love of movement and sport. Her favorite moments with students entail the smiles and looks of accomplishment on their faces when they know that they have mastered a movement or skill.

In her free time, Gough enjoys cycling and spends much time on the Pumpkin Vine bike trail. She is also an avid reader, camper, furniture repurposer, knitter, and handicrafter. Along with her husband, she also enjoys hiking and has a goal to see and hike all of the state parks in Indiana.