MCPS Principal Promotes Active Lifestyle, Greets Students During Daily Lunchtime Bike Ride

Courtesy of MCPS

After three decades as an MCPS educator, Damascus Principal Kevin Yates continues to impart valuable lessons to his students…sometimes using unconventional methods.

At around 11 every day, the high school’s juniors and seniors venture out for open lunch in small-town Damascus. Amid the myriad of dining choices, what makes this routine special is the sight of Principal Yates on his bicycle, greeting hungry students as they embark on their daily lunch break.

Yates aims to instill the notion that staying active is a lifelong pursuit. His daily bike rendezvous serves as a tangible example, urging both students and staff to find activities they enjoy. “I want students to see that this is a lifelong hobby and that it’s important to stay active,” said Yates in an MCPS article highlighting his lunchtime bikerides.

This commitment to an active lifestyle is particularly poignant, given the challenges posed by the pandemic. In March 2020, as schools closed their doors, Mr. Yates reached out to his students with a message of encouragement, emphasizing the importance of self-care and wellness during uncertain times.

“That was a scary time,” Yates recalled, “and so my message to my students and families was make sure you’re taking care of yourself and your wellness.” His passion for biking dates back over 30 years when he, along with fraternity brothers, embarked on a cross-country journey to raise awareness for people with disabilities. The 62-day trip, with 52 days spent on a bike, remains a poignant experience he often shares with his students and graduates, emphasizing the enduring impact of staying active.

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