by Lisa Tome
Scott Oshiro didn't immediately lace on his wheels.
Oshiro, a special education teacher at Rising Sun Middle School, wanted to assess the skill level of the skaters in the school gym before he put on roller skates.
"I was wobbly last time I tried. I'm a little more worried about falling than I used to be," said Oshiro. "But it is a good role model to fall and get back up. I like pointing out when I make mistakes. I'll just take that and roll with it."
A short time later, Oshiro went to the skate lending area and laced on his skates. He then spent his time helping those who were still working to master the basics.
For the sixth year, the school hosted skate nights. It's the culminating activity for the roller skating unit taught in physical education classes. During the nights, a skate company brings in skates. Families then take over the gym giving the students a chance to show what they've learned.
"It's a great form of exercise. It's a life long activity. We teach them the basic skills - skating forward, backwards, and turns," said PE teacher Jim Boyd. "Some of them are excellent skaters and some have never done it before. We have (safe) skating areas for those learning."
Parents can either embrace it and join in, or stick to the observation area - gym bleachers.
Danny Diamonte, dad of a sixth grader, was all in. "The last time I skated was at Merryland Roller Rink. I'm 46 now so that was 28 or 29 years ago. I am nervous but my son begged me. I'll be fine. As long as he's happy," said Diamonte. Diamonte later admitted that he was tired. "Fifteen minutes into it, I was hoping it was 5:30 (ending time)," he said.
Kelly Duvall opted to observe. She said it's been 16 years or so since she skated. "I would spend more time on the floor (than skating). I wish they had this when I was in school," said Duvall.
Her husband, TJ, laced up his skates to skate with their son, Andrew. "It's fun. It's good times to take a spin with the kids," said TJ Duvall. "I'm not expecting to fall and I'm not nervous."
Dawn Sauer is also the mom of a student. "I skated like 20 years ago. I went about 30 feet and said I'm done, he can skate. I'm not young anymore," laughed Sauer. "My knees will hate me in the morning."
Not all of those on eight wheels were middle school student. Rising Sun High freshman Jon Duszynski served as security for the event. He earned community service hours by helping people up if they took a spill. One of the toughest challenges of his day was getting people to put their cell phones down. He said that people were attempting to photograph themselves while skating and that was considered unsafe.