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August 1, 2012

18 School Leaders Honored for Advancing School Health Movement and Fighting Childhood Obesity

Alliance for a Healthier Generation announces 2012 Healthy Schools Program champions

(NEW YORK, N.Y.) August 1, 2012 – The Alliance for a Healthier Generation today honored 18 school leaders from across the country for their diligence in creating healthy school environments for students and staff. The honorees, which include school superintendents, principals, physical education and health teachers, food service directors, district wellness specialists and parents, have been selected to serve as part of the Alliance’s National Champions Network, an expert team that helps schools improve access to healthy food and beverages and daily physical activity.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program supports the work of more than 14,000 schools across the country as they strive to make their campuses healthier places to learn and work. Each year the Healthy Schools Program selects a handful of its most effective advocates to join the National Champions Network—motivating and leading students and staff toward healthier school environments and serving as national spokespeople for the Healthy Schools Program.

“We commend the ambition and hard work of our Healthy Schools Program Champions for committing the time and resources needed to build a healthier campus,” said Ginny Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Their success proves that despite the myriad of responsibilities and competing priorities, educators can make eating better and moving more the easier choice at school.”

The 2012 Healthy Schools Program Champions are:  

  • Cecilia Baker, School Nurse, Whitten Elementary, Marianna, Ark.
  • Gayla Moghannam, Parent, Walt Disney Elementary, San Ramon, Calif.
  • Candice Roberson, Employee Wellness Specialist, Osceola County Schools, Kissimmee, Fla.
  • Kimberly Sandmaier, Employee Wellness Coordinator, The School District of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Andrea Williamson-English, School Nurse, Creative School of Inquiry Chestnut Mountain Elementary, Flowery Branch, Ga.
  • Sheliah DiJohn, Health Teacher, Hazel Park Hilda Knoff Elementary, River Ridge, La.
  • Donald Lucente, Special Education Teacher, Thomas Edison K8, Boston, Mass.
  • Elizabeth Reynolds Lupo, Physical Education Teacher, William E Russell Elementary, Dorchester, Mass.
  • Carolyn Goode, Health Teacher, Buck Lodge Middle School, Adelphi, Md.
  • Katie Johnson, Parent Liaison, Jonestown Elementary, Jonestown, Miss.
  • Henry Phillips, Jr., Superintendent, West Bolivar School District, Rosedale, Miss.
  • Paula Boyd, Health Education Teacher, E.R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Jennifer Rex, Child Nutrition Director, Plain Local Schools, Canton, Ohio
  • Tony Swan, Principal, Fairview Elementary, Klamath Falls, Ore.
  • Sherrilynn Rawson, Principal, Nellie Muir Elementary, Woodburn, Ore.
  • Susan DeRosier, Cafeteria Manager, Armstrong Middle School, Fairless Hills, Pa.
  • Annette Wilson, Coordinated School Health Administrator, Jackson Madison County School System, Jackson, Tenn.
  • Woody Morrow, Physical Education Teacher, Arturo Salazar Elementary School, Dallas, Texas

Launched in 2006 with 231 schools in 13 states, the Healthy Schools Program now supports more than 14,000 schools across the country to help transform them into healthier places where physical activity and healthier foods are available before, during and after school. Nearly 80 percent of schools participating in the Healthy Schools Program have made measurable progress towards creating a healthier school environment including:

  • Fifty percent of Healthy Schools Program schools improved nutritional values of their school meals overall.
  • Eighty-five percent of schools in the Program meet or exceed the Alliance’s School Beverage Guidelines.
  • Seventy-five percent leave school facilities open for use after school and on the weekends.
  • More than 50 percent dedicated at least 20 percent of their afterschool program time to physical activity.
  • More than 75 percent of elementary schools in the Healthy Schools Program offer at least 20 minutes of recess per day.

The Healthy Schools Program is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation 
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to address one of the nation's leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child's health: homes, schools, doctor's offices and communities. Find out more at www.HealthierGeneration.org.