M.Ed, LAT, ATC
Head Athletic Trainer & CTE Instructor
Chehalis School District
Back in College, Josh Petersen broke his pinky finger playing football. To his dismay, an x-ray revealed that he had a transverse fracture. This break resulted in a cast that went all the way up to his forearm.
He soon learned that the tendon that allows you to move your fingers runs up to your elbow. Without the cast, further injury could result in a pin in his finger and much more time off the field.
At that moment, something changed for Josh. He saw a side of athletics that would begin a new path for him. Although schoolwork never came easy for him, he went on to finish his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and became a certified athletic trainer.
Certified athletic trainers are Health Care Professionals who earn a national certification. Their work focuses on injury prevention, evaluation, immediate care, treatment, rehabilitation and reconditioning, and organization and administration.
As the Chehalis School District’s Athletic Trainer, he spends his days at W.F. West teaching Sports Medicine, Advanced Sports Medicine, and Medical Terminology, a part of College in the High School, where students earn college credit through Centralia College.
If you speak with Josh, it is clear that this is so much more than a job. He does not even refer to it as ‘work.’ “I’m going to campus, or I’m going to school – I don’t look at it as ‘going to a job.’ To me, it’s not a job; it’s a passion that I get paid to do every day.”
In addition to teaching, Josh spends a significant amount of time working with athletes and attending games to be on the spot if there are any injuries. He’s worked with at least one athlete from every sport in the past three and a half years. In any given sports season, Josh works with about 300 student-athletes, including helping them recover from injuries.
“Helping them recover from an injury and then seeing the smile on their face when they score a goal – seeing that excitement and knowing you were able to help them and get them back in the game is why I do it.”
Beyond his expertise, his rapport with the students is admirable. Not only are we lucky to have him here in Chehalis as a passionate and dedicated teacher and athletic trainer, but students interested in the medical field can also see him at work in the area at our sporting events.
Career and Technical Education Director, Rick Goble, is quick to share how special Josh is and how fortunate we are to have him. “As a CTE Director, I’m thrilled that students in his class get to see him in this career,” Mr. Goble shared. “Kids who sit in his class get to see him on the job that night on the field.”
Josh Petersen is a remarkable educator and a passionate Athletic Trainer, keeping our athletes safe and inspiring students to explore the Health Sciences field.