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Reece Whitley SportsKids of 2015!

Reece Whitley, a Penn Charter sophomore and a breaststroke sensation, is the Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKid of the Year!

First Lady Michelle Obama announced the news on Twitter at 8:28 this morning in a tweet congratulating Reece on his selection. “We are so proud of you!” she said.

Within minutes, Reece made his first appearance on national television on ABC’s Good Morning America. Introduced as the “next big thing in breaststroke,” he looked handsome and calm on live television as he told how he got his start in swimming.

He failed the deep-water swimming test in summer camp when he was 7 years old, he recounted. “I told my mom that night, and she enrolled me in lessons, and this is what happened.”

Now 15 years old, Reece is a swimming sensation with hopes of competing in the Olympics, perhaps in 2016 in Rio de Janiero. He knows the times he needs to beat to qualify – and he has them on the wall in his bedroom.

Asked to name adults he admires, Reece named his parents, Karl Whitley and Kim Smith-Whitley. “My parents are my largest mentors,” said Reece. “There’s no swimmer who can do what my parents do for me.”

Mark Bechtel, managing editor of Sports Illustrated Kids, said the magazine contest looks “for kids who excel on the field and off of it, or in Reece’s case, in the pool or out.” Reece excels in school and finds time to mentor young kids who want to be like him. He has “youthful exuberance and joy,” said Bechtel. “He just comes off as a big kid.”

Penn Charter students have the day off today, a faculty in-service day, and many of them were probably asleep when the news broke. But the adults were delighted and proud.

“Since his arrival at Penn Charter in kindergarten, we knew Reece was special,” said Head of School Darryl J. Ford. “As he has grown up at our school, he has not only established himself as a great student and athlete but also as a great member of our community. We are so very proud that Reece was selected to be on the cover of SI Kids.”

Posted by S. Sexton on Monday November, 30, 2015 at 09:32AM

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Penn Charter has provided student athletes with resources to match their talents. On 44 acres, Penn Charter offers its players and fans:

  • five grass playing fields, two synthetic turf fields, one all-weather, eight-lane track, seven tennis courts, 10 squash courts, four basketball courts, and one swimming pool.
  • PC has four buildings designated for athletics: Graham Athletics Center — with the new Blaine A. Steinberg OPC '11 Center for Fitness and Performance  Kline & Specter Squash Center, Ray Dooney Field House, and the Old Gym.

    Penn Charter Athletic Facilities

Go Charter!

The spirit of Penn Charter athletics is built on a storied tradition of excellence and the belief that the interplay of academics, arts and athletics leads to strong, creative, resilient and flexible people.

Skilled teachers and coaches help our students understand – whether on the playing field or in the classroom – how to collaborate and compete, how to win with grace, and how to handle challenges and setbacks.

Our school cheer is: Go Charter!

We appreciate the student athletes who are now powering PC to great feats, and look forward to welcoming those who will do so in the future. Also, of course, we eternally appreciate the efforts of all OPCs!

Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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