Physical Education and Health

Physical Education provides an individualized, developmentally appropriate, and personally challenging instructional program that advances the student’s knowledge, confidence, skills, and motivation to engage in a lifelong, healthy and physically active lifestyle. The goal of physical education is for each student to set and achieve personally challenging fitness goals and apply higher-order thinking skills to the scientific principles of human movement.

PE Course Offerings

*We highly encourage students to take Physical Education during all 4 years of high school.

Net Sports

This course instructs students in basic fundamental skills, offensive and defensive strategies, tactics, and current rules of play. Students will perform in drills, game situations and tournaments. Games played include but are not limited to Badminton, Tennis, Volleyball, Pickle Ball, Ping Pong (table tennis).  Open to all skill levels. 

Grade Level: 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

Flag Football

This course emphasizes instruction in basic individual and team football fundamentals, offensive and defensive strategies/tactics, rules of play and overall physical conditioning.  Drills, games, and tournaments played.

Grade Level: 9 - 10 - 11 – 12


This course emphasizes instruction in basic individual and team soccer fundamentals, offensive and defensive strategies/tactics, rules of play and overall physical conditioning.  Drills, games, and tournaments played.

Grade Level: 9 - 10 - 11 – 12

Weight Training

This course emphasizing basic weight training methods and cardiovascular programs.  Instruction will incorporate proper safety protocols, maintenance of equipment, and development of overall physical conditioning.

Grade Level: 9 - 10 - 11 – 12


This course instructs students in basic fundamentals, rules of play, examining game strategy and tactics, and overall physical conditioning.

Grade Level: 9 - 10 - 11 – 12


This course instructs students in basic individual volleyball fundamental skills, offensive and defensive strategies and tactics, and current rules of play.  Students will perform in drills, game play and tournaments.

Grade Level: 9 - 10 - 11 – 12

Dance (for PE credit)/Dance (for Fine Art Credit)

This course offers instruction in jazz, ballet, modern and hip-hop styles of dance.  Students will learn to perform and choreograph routines that improve cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and overall fitness.

Grade Level: 9 - 10 - 11 – 12

Functional Fitness

Students will deepen their understanding of fitness components and principles. Students will be guided through short- and long-term fitness goals and the selection of physical fitness activities to prepare them for career. The course includes opportunities for a variety of personal developmental activities, including those most prevalent in students’ current and future communities.

Grade Level: 9 - 10 - 11 – 12

 *It is highly encouraged that students take PE all 4 years of high school to promote their physical and emotional well-being. Students can elect to take the same class both semesters in order to build on their skills (ex. a freshman taking soccer first semester can be placed in soccer the second semester unless they want to take another PE course).



Prerequisite: Grade 10

7835 0.5 credit

7841 (Honors) 0.5 credit

Health Education Philosophy

The secondary Health Education program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to help them make healthful decisions—both now and in the future. Through the implementation of an effective, comprehensive health education instructional program, students will develop the life skills needed to enhance their potential for achieving academic success and attaining healthier, happier, and more productive lives. Developing knowledge of accurate health information is essential, but practicing health-related skills in real-life situations and developing healthful behaviors are the ultimate goals of the program.

One-half credit of Health Education is required for graduation. This course is typically offered during the 10th grade year.

Courses currently being offered in Health Education are:

  • Comprehensive Health Education
  • Comprehensive Health Education, Honors
  • Human Behavior:Sports Science

Health Course Descriptions


Students learn factual health information and develop lifetime skills in mental health; tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs; personal and consumer health; nutrition and fitness; safety and injury prevention; family life and human sexuality; and disease prevention and control. This course meets the state ½ credit Health Education graduation requirement.


Prerequisite: C or higher in health education 

The year long course would incorporate the traditional disciplines of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology and nutrition while being studied in the context of sports, exercise and health. Students will study a range of topics. They will undertake experimental investigations in both school and field settings. 

Physical Education and Health Staff Office Hours

Resource Teacher:

 Cecilia Chivers

All Health andP.E. teachers will be available before and after school hours, as well as during LAP, for student assistance. We will also be available by appointment.

Staff Bios

Cecilia Chivers (Health Education)

Cecilia is in her 10th year of teaching health at Paint Branch High School and 3rd year as resource teacher. She received her Bachelor’s in Health Education from SUNY Cortland in upstate New York and earned a Master’s degree from Towson University in Health Science. She is a proud transplant from upstate New York and currently lives in Baltimore with her husband, daughter, and two beloved dogs and cat. Cecilia is also a certified group fitness instructor at Merritt Clubs in Baltimore. She works tirelessly to enhance the emotional and physical well-being of the entire school community through collaborative wellness initiatives and skill centered, evidence based classroom practices. 

Michelle Chestnut (Volleyball, Football/Soccer)

Michelle began teaching at Paint Branch in 2001. She is a graduate of the Paint Branch High School Class of 1990 and earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in 1994. In her free time, Ms. Chestnut enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, hanging out with friends and family, traveling, boating, and photography.

Dessalyn Dillard (Dance, Functional Fitness, and Volleyball)

Dessalyn began teaching at Paint Branch in 2013. A native of Trenton, NJ, Ms. Dillard, earned a track scholarship to the University of Maryland, College Park, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Education in Human Development. Ms. Dillard, (Coach D) proudly serves as the Cross Country and Track and Field coach here at Paint Branch. In her spare time Coach D enjoys spending time her two children, laughing with family/friends, concerts, and visiting museums.

Tim Gilchrist (Weight Training, Basketball)

Tim began teaching in 2003. He is a 2003 graduate from James Madison University where he studied Kinesiology with an emphasis in Physical Education and Health Education. When Tim is not teaching or coaching he enjoys playing golf, hanging out with friends and spending time with his wife Johnna.

Tommy Rey (Weight Training, Football, Basketball)

Tommy began teaching at Paint Branch in 2004. He attended Paint Branch Elementary School. His High School Mascot was a Panther and his college colors were maroon and gold. His wife, Valerie is a Paint Branch Alumni, class of 1995. He played baseball for Salisbury University, class of 1999. He enjoys watching football and long walks on the beach.

Ani Armstrong (Adapted PE, Functional Fitness, Volleyball, Health)

Ani began teaching at Paint Branch in 2016, where she was once a student, graduating in 2010. She is a 2014 and 2016 graduate of University of Maryland, College Park where she received her Undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and her Graduate degree in Education/Curriculum and Instruction with a focus of Physical Education. Along with teaching, Ani coaches JV Volleyball, Unified Bocce and Coed Volleyball, all at Paint Branch. When she’s not teaching, Ani enjoys spending time with her family and cooking/baking.

Dan Frank (Functional Fitness, Weight Training )

Dan began teaching in 2005 and has been teaching Mathematics and Physical Education at Paint Branch since 2015. He studied Pure Math and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland at College Park. Dan coached wrestling for 9 seasons but now enjoys coaching and cheering on his own children in soccer and field hockey. He is an avid runner, cyclist, and skier. Dan’s favorite thing to do is to move quickly in the mountains. He also loves to race ultramarathon mountain races and backcountry camp with his kids.

Maigan Campbell (Health, Human Behavior:Sports Science)

Maigan Campbell is a 15+ MCPS Health Education teacher that is a passionate, student-centered educator continually seeking to improve learning and school culture. She earned her B.S. degree in Physical Education K-12 from Western Illinois University, a M.S. in Physical Education Teacher Education from West Virginia University, in addition to 30+ professional development/continuing education credits. Maigan Campbell is an expert in Health education presentation construction, delivery, and lesson planning.