2019 Ennis Nominee: Chad Freeman

Chad Freeman has helped him revolutionize John Hersey High School’s physical education department and customize the curriculum for each student.  

Since 2012, Freeman has researched the latest technology methods and best practices for his students, including using digital strength and conditioning programs and heart rate monitors in class.

Students in the school’s strength and conditioning classes now use EliteForm to access their individualized workout plans. Hosted on the cloud, EliteForm helps students train with proper form no matter where they are.

We look forward to continuing such a positive relationship that enriches the lives of our students.
— Chad Freeman

PE students are also using Polar heart rate technology, which ensures they are working at an intensity that is appropriate for them and avoids undertraining or overtraining.

Countless school districts throughout the state, as well as colleges, have visited Hersey to observe Freeman’s work and innovation. And his results are impressive: Hersey students have experienced 30 percent gains in strength and students in Freeman’s lifting program have seen a significant decrease in muscular injuries.

Freeman is working with Eastern Illinois University to develop dual credit opportunities for his students, which allows them to simultaneously earn high school and college credit. Dual credit courses help students understand the rigor of college while also potentially saving them time and money on tuition. Currently, he teaches a dual credit class, Advanced Strength and Conditioning, and next school year he will teach a new dual credit course at Hersey, College Basic Care and Prevention.

Outside of curriculum, Freeman is known for providing his students with the latest information about nutrition. Under his leadership, Hersey is also looking at using technology to measure muscular imbalances within the body, which in turn helps staff re-program corrective exercises into students’ sport-specific programs to help prevent injury.  

“We are very proud of what we are accomplishing and realize that none of this could be done without the support of our administration,” says Freeman. “We look forward to continuing such a positive relationship that enriches the lives of our students.”