December 14, 2023

Celebrating the 2023 America’s Healthiest Schools Leaders Summit

Check out photos and more from the 2023 Americas Healthiest Schools Leaders Summit!

Attendees gather to celebrate at the Americas Healthiest Schools Leaders Summit.

This October, nearly 400 educators, administrators, and members of the Healthier Generation community gathered in Washington, DC to celebrate exceptional schools across the nation at the America’s Healthiest Schools Leaders Summit. Speakers included Chelsea Clinton, D.Phil, Admiral Rachel L. Levine from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown, and many more! Chef Lovely, star of “Lovely Bites,” also delivered a keynote address on her journey, and how to build connections through food and empowerment.

Chef Lovely delivers keynote address.

The Leaders Summit is Healthier Generation’s marquee event celebrating schools for prioritizing the social, physical, and emotional health of their students and staff. Here are a few highlights that capture the impact, spirit, and scope of Leaders Summit 2023.

781 schools recognized across 36 states – including 14 awardees that received the All-Star distinction for achieving recognition in all nine America’s Healthiest Schools topic areas.

“My colleagues and I at Lynch Elementary are thrilled to be named a 2023 America's Healthiest Schools All-Star awardee,” said Melissa Russell, a teacher and wellness champion from St. Petersburg, Fla. “Our health education practices and policies earned us an honored distinction this year for improving the well-being of students, staff, and families. Lynch Elementary is incredibly honored and grateful to celebrate our hard work. We can't wait to see what next year brings!”

Nancy Brown, Chelsea Clinton, and Kathy Higgins with the 2023 America's Healthiest Schools All-Star awardees.

350 attendees participated, including nearly 250 school and district leaders from 22 states.

“I want to express my gratitude for the most memorable weekend ever. The Leaders Summit was amazing,” said Rhonda Sigsworth, physical education specialist at MacArthur Elementary School in Mesa, Ariz. “Leaders sharing their knowledge is what it’s all about for me. I am inspired and excited to get back to work and make a difference in the lives of my kids, staff, and the entire MacArthur community. How wonderful to be a part of something so powerful! “

300+ sunflowers distributed to attendees as a surprise to celebrate the moment and gathering.

During our community discussion on youth mental health, filmmaker and panelist Sunny Vachher surprised the audience with hundreds of sunflowers – a secret delivery he and fellow panelist Jane Park planned the day before,” said Daniel Hatcher, senior director of strategic partnerships at Healthier Generation. “We’ll never forget hundreds of educators smiling and waving bright yellow flowers, a symbol of positivity and happiness. As attendees returned home with a sunflower memento, they were encouraged to spread the optimism they experienced at the event.”

Hundreds of sunflowers were given to attendees to commemorate the special occasion.

We extend a special thanks to our attendees, awardees, and corporate sponsors, including Kohl’s, JCPenney, National University, Novo Nordisk, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We look forward to celebrating more of America’s Healthiest Schools at Leaders Summit 2024!

Additional Resources

Check out event photos and learn more about Leaders Summit 2023.

Learn more about the 2023 America’s Healthiest Schools awardees.

Nicole Blanton

Manager, Culturally Responsive Communications | Alliance for a Healthier Generation