Luke Wisher is "the IT guy" at Hosford Middle School and is their Walk+Bike Challenge Coordinator. Thanks, Luke, for all of your hard work encouraging students in Hosford to walk and bike!
BTA: What are you doing to promote walking and biking at Hosford Middle School and why do you do it?
Luke: For the past three years I've coordinated our school in participating in the September Bike Challenge through BTA, Walk+Bike May Challenge and the National Walk+Bike Day. This year we organized our first bike safety curriculum geared towards the middle school population and hosted two weeks of free helmet adjustments, and gave away prizes for riding to school safely. Legacy Emmanual supported us with donated helmets so we could teach hands on helmet safety and replace students' old helmets or give helmets to students who did not have one. West End Bikes supported us by getting prizes for students, including bells, lights, and locks. This year we also are recipients of the Timbers Greenest Goals award which means we are adding more bike facilities and learning about alternative energy!
Can you share a biking or walking memory from your childhood.
I grew up in Flathead Valley under Glacier National Park. You could see the peaks of glaciers through the canyon or what we called the gateway to glacier. My father and I would take a tandem bike up the Going to Sun Road. The road stretches along the mountain sides and will take you to the last ranger station where the road turns to Canada. Of course it's a very touristy area but early in the season the road is closed off to cars and only walking and biking are allowed. It was always a fun and challenging father/son activity that I look forward to doing again and again.
How did you end up working at Hosford?
I moved to Portland about 6 years ago to live with my brother and started working for Recesstime Sports Leagues. As a sports manager I made new connections and friends which led me to applying for work at Hosford Middle School. I've always had a talent for working with people and technology, not to mention blending in education. I'm always learning more and teaching students/staff about educational technology. Having worked for Hosford 3 years now I even spoke at a conferences (Oregon Active Transportation Summit), completed grants breaking over $100k and I love being in classroom.
Tell me about how promoting walking and biking at Hosford is affecting students' lives.
The students had a stereotype of a typical IT guy and I wanted to break the stereotype by showing them who I am by promoting a balanced lifestyle of healthy activity and technology. That's kind of how it all started. I love soccer and riding my bike (my wife definitely supported me getting on the bike). Students spend so much time playing video games and living in the city they lose touch of what planet they live on! I like the quote from Einstein, "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." After hosting these bike events, students have been feeling more confident about biking to school. We have more bike riders than we did 3 years ago and I hope to get more. Its a challenge to appeal to middle school students but we are finding ways with the help of parents and the BTA.
Tell me what makes Hosford great!
Hosford is a very diverse school and is supported by great administrators. Hosford's diversity is its strong side and our teachers pull together an excellent education for students here. I always appreciate the open-mindedness of our group and our ability to see the lighter side during the hard times. I certainly would not be able to be this active in the community if it wasn't for a supportive school. When there is a need we do our best to fill it.
Join Luke and others as they work to change the world one student at a time by registering your school for the Walk+Bike Challenge!