South Elementary School

It’s important to promote health at school because, for some students, it will be the only place they have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to be healthy.

- Scott Nelson, Principal



District: Jackson-Madison County School District
Location: Pinson, Tennessee
Enrollment: 318 students
Joined Healthy Schools Program: 2009


A former physical education teacher, Principal Scott Nelson is no stranger to the connection between active bodies and active minds. Now at the helm of South Elementary School, he ensures that his students keep moving all day long, starting with a morning walking club where pedometers track their steps. Every day, teachers add 20 minutes of physical activity to classroom lessons and reinforce the cafeteria’s nutritious options by serving only healthy snacks during classroom celebrations. To ensure parents support their children’s healthy learning environment, Scott sends home a list of snack options, which he also posts on the school’s website. The results, he says, speak for themselves: “We have had an increase in daily student and staff attendance and less referrals for behavior issues since we became part of the Healthy Schools Program.”

Learn more about how Jackson-Madison County School District is helping kids eat better.


Meet Scott

Scott Nelson has been part of the South Elementary School community for 26 years, both as a physical education teacher and now as the principal. He sets a healthy example for his students and staff by wearing a pedometer to track his steps at school.