ALERTS:
Search:
Skip Navigation LinksCherry Creek School District > District News > Peyton Manning encourages academics, fitness at Cherry Hills Village
Print this page

Peyton Manning encourages academics, fitness at Cherry Hills Village

manningthumb2.jpgIt was clear that Preston Perry had put a lot of thought into his words.

The careful consideration made sense. The second-grader stood before dozens and dozens of his classmates at Cherry Hills Village Elementary on Sept. 8. He was tasked with introducing a celebrity, a hero whose name and number were emblazoned on countless orange jerseys worn by students and staff alike across the room. Perry handled his duties calmly and confidently.

"He's not only the best player of all time. He's also my friend – Peyton Manning," Perry said, as the entire room seemed to swivel their head toward the back door in unison.

Peyton Manning didn't miss his cue. The Denver Broncos quarterback offered the crowd a casual smile as he made his way through the crowd, offering the seated second-graders high fives and hellos. They responded with whoops and cheers – Manning's arrival had come as a complete surprise to the vast majority of the group. Manning visited the school after Perry's family successfully bid on an item at a charity auction during the summer; his visit was kept secret from most of the school.

"How about a round of applause for Preston?" Manning said right away before offering some context for his visit. "The reason I'm here is because Preston and his family helped out with something that's very important to me, a charity called the Payback Foundation. We help out kids who don't have life easy … I'm very honored to be with you all this morning."manningthumb.jpg

With that simple introduction, Manning proceeded to engage in a dialogue with the entire second-grade class at Cherry Hills Village, taking a seat in a white rocking chair and offering thoughts about priorities, academics and physical fitness. He also fielded a wide variety of questions from the group, offering feedback on topics ranging from the pain of being tackled to his memories of signing up for his first formal football game as a quarterback in seventh grade.

For nearly a half hour, Manning answered questions earnestly and directly, returning to some basic themes that were clearly tailored to the crowd. 

"When I was in second grade, my parents taught me about the word 'priority,'" Manning said. "The main thing I'm trying to say is that sports and extra-curricular activities cannot be more important than school … My parents taught me that my priorities were always my faith, my family, my education and then whatever comes after that … I encourage you to listen to your teachers, listen to your parents and listen to your principal about what you need to do as a second –grader."

With that in mind, Manning didn't shy away from talking about the value of exercise and physical fitness, whether it was playing an organized sport or simply getting outdoors.

"When I was your age, I played at recess in school, I played in the backyard with my older brother Cooper," Manning said. "I was playing football as a kid, but I don't think it really matters as long as you're outside and you're doing something active. Whether its football, or basketball, or soccer, or just running around, that's what you want. You want to be healthy and active."

Those messages came between candid responses to all kinds of questions. The second-graders at Cherry Hills Village interviewed Manning with all the insight and focus of the most seasoned sports reporter. One student demanded, "When will you retire?" "I don't know," Manning replied, adding that he'd stay as long as the sport was still enjoyable. Another student asked how he first got on the team, and Manning replied that hard work, focus and family encouragement were the keys to his 18 seasons in the NFL.

Some of the questions weren't as concerned with football. For example, a student asked Manning if he liked to sing; the quarterback said he did, but only in the seclusion of his car and in the company of a very select audience, including his own children.

Manning handled every question with focus and encouragement, returning again and again to common themes.  

"You always want to be asking questions in order to learn, to get better, to get smarter," Manning said. "That's what I've always tried to do as quarterback … I still have to do a lot of studying."

Those messages meant a lot to students and staff alike.

"He is an absolute hero in the eyes of our children. To have him telling them to make right choices and to be a good friend, to stay invested in their academics and to listen to their teachers and principal – it's so valuable," said Molly Drvenkar, principal at Cherry Hills Village. "They totally take that to heart. I know that will be a lasting impression that children will take away for the rest of their lives."

Posted 9/8/2015 12:30 PM
 

"You always want to be asking questions in order to learn, to get better, to get smarter ... That's what I've always tried to do as quarterback … I still have to do a lot of studying."

-- Peyton Manning

Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

You are now leaving the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) portal. Please note that CCSD does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, completeness, or appropriateness of any content contained on web sites and/or pages outside of the official CCSD portal. The information or opinions contained on these web sites and/or pages do not necessarily represent the views of the CCSD.

With access to the internet comes the availability of material that may not be of educational value or appropriate for students. While at school, CCSD has taken precautions to restrict access to inappropriate or harmful web sites. However, on the internet it is impossible to control all materials and limit all access to information that has no educational value. CCSD firmly believes that the valuable information and the interaction available on the internet far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of CCSD.