‘Sanity Time’ for Principal Dean Cevallos at Keaau High
It’s called ‘sanity time’ for Dean Cevallos, a period of time he sets aside each day to allow himself to rejuvenate.
Cevallos is the principal at Keaau High School and his 12 hour work days leaves little ‘sanity time’ for the hard working administrator.
“I arrive at school by 6:30 am to make sure I am here to greet the students and supervise any students that the parents have dropped off on their way to work,” Cevallos said. “I don’t get home until after 7 pm everyday and it makes for a long day.”
So where does Cevallos’ sanity time come into play?
“I utilize the schools resources and run the track, work out on the stationary bike and treadmill and I lift weights,” he said. “I try to make time everyday but do not always get that luxury.”
Cevallos desire to stay healthy and fit began when he was eight years old as he always loved a variety of sports.
“I have done football, baseball, and basketball, track and field, cross country, wrestling, rugby, gymnastics, handball, racket ball, tennis, bicycling, skiing, mountain hiking, bowling, and paddling and have even attempted surfing,” he said.
Growing up in Aurora, Colorado, Cevallos played football, cross country, track and wrestling in high school.
“I have always loved sports and always will,” he said.
In 1996 Cevallos began as a substitute teacher, part time teacher, regular education teacher and special education teacher at Pahoa High & Intermediate before becoming an administrator at Hilo High then later returned to Pahoa as their principal from 2008 to 2011.
While serving at Pahoa, Cevallos filled extracurricular duties at the school as he became the cross country and track & field coach for over five years.
“In 2011 I was assigned to come to Keaau, where I am currently,” Cevallos said.
Cevallos’ sanity time has him running on the treadmill for a minimum of 1 to 3 miles then switches to the stationary bike for 5 to 7 miles.
“Following my cardio workout I will do a strengthening workout for about an hour each day,” Cevallos said. “I work on a different body part each day starting the week with a heavy chest workout that would include a bench press, dumbbell press, skull crushers, flies and then a variety of triceps exercises.”
Following his heavy chest workout Cevallos will work on his legs on day two and day three is a back and dead lift with cable pulls adding in biceps and abs.
“The fourth day is a light chest and then I finish the week with heavy leg and shoulder workout and abs,” he said.
His daily workouts had me extremely impressed, but just to look at Cevallos you can see that the weight training is paying off as you can’t find an ounce of body fat on the man. Surely impressive for a busy administrator working 12 hour days.
But Cevallos does have a weakness and that would be his diet.
“My downfall is the late arrival at home and the inability to make sure I eat right at school,” Cevallos said. “The demands of the job get in the way of honoring myself with a lunch at the time I am supposed to have lunch.”
Many things will get in the way that is vital to the operations of the regular school day and Cevallos knows he is missing out on proper nutrition.
A good breakfast, healthy snacks around mid morning and a nice lunch with a healthy snack in the afternoon is what would be best for Cevallos and he knows it!
“This just does not happen for me,” Cevallos said. “I know that my fat cells tend to hoard energy and I have my midsection that suffers the weight.”
Cevallos also knows that his evening meal should be consumed no later than 7 pm so that he doesn’t go to bed on a full stomach which will cause the body to run very slowly.
“Sometimes I eat as late as 9 pm,” he said. “I do make sure I eat healthy meals as I have all the food groups, but it is the consistency of my meal intake that is my down fall.”
Cevallos does have a running career, having finished one marathon (26.2 miles) in Erie, Pennsylvania in an incredible time of 3 hours and 15 minutes.
But since that first marathon Cevallos has never been able to find the extra training time required to make his second marathon.
What he missed on the road running circuit he has made up for in the weight lifting room.
“My lifting has been fun as I have competed in the USAWF that occur on Oahu,” he said. “I was able to set four records when I was lifting at age 42.”
At age 55 Cevallos still has set goals in running and weight lifting.
“I would like to get back to the weight, strength and ability to run distance that I was when I was 42,” Cevallos said. “I find it takes twice as long now to get back to what I could do then, but that will not stop me and I am hoping I can dedicate more time to doing that these next few years.”
Dean Cevallos is an outstanding role model for the Department of Education. He is healthy and fit while serving our community and the thousands of young people that come into contact with him.
And someday should you happen to see a retired teacher doing laps in Puna remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
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