Heritage Oak Private Elementary School has announced that a record 68% of its kindergarten-through-sixth-grade students recently qualified for Presidential Physical Fitness Awards.
This could be the highest percentage in the state, according to curriculum director Elizabeth Holloman, who said Heritage Oak finished a close second to a Temecula school in 1993.
Last year, 64% of Heritage Oak students earned the award. Statewide results are expected in October.
"This year, I think we have it," said Holloman, who credited physical education instructor Leonard Johnson with dramatically increasing the fitness of students over the past five years.
Before Johnson began the training program, less than 20% of the students passed the nationally certified test, Holloman said. "It's amazing to see how much better they are physically," she said.
To get the students in shape, Johnson instituted a program of running, pushups, pullups, relays and other activities.