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Elmdale Skates with a Piston

Grade 2-4 Students of Elmdale Elementary school got the chance to skate with Pistons defenceman Tristan Culleton, as well as Pistons mascot Clutch. And it was all available during their gym class.

“We do a skating unit every year, in which we teach our kids how to skate,” Elmdale Phys. Ed teacher Rod Thiessen said while on the ice.

Culleton is spending Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at Elmdale helping out the students learn how to read, do math, and other small tasks that need doing.

It comes naturally to Culleton, as his mom is also a teacher back home in St. Louis, Missouri. “I think seeing the way she interacts with her students definitely has an influence on how I get to know the kids,” he said.

Thiessen was thrilled to have a Pistons player on the ice helping him out to teach skating. “The diversity of skills with skating is so big, (with him) it lets me split the class up into two groups,” he said. “He works with the advanced skaters, and I take the beginners. It’s great; I enjoy it, the kids love it, and even Culleton enjoys it as well.”

The Pistons have partnered with Elmdale for many years by sending a player to help the students learn how to skate. “The kids love having a Pistons player on the ice,” Thiessen said. “The other teachers get to leave the kids for those few weeks, and I always look forward to working with the Pistons players when our skating unit happens.”