Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools recognized for health efforts

by Morinville News Staff

Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools received provincial honours from The Ever Active Schools organization at its annual convention last weekend. The District received the School District Wellness Champions Award of Distinction for the organization’s Healthy Schools, Healthy Learners initiative.

The initiative began in 2011 under the leadership of Cathy Traynor as Healthy BobKats at Bertha Kennedy Catholic Community School and has since expanded to 10 of the District’s 16 schools. Collectively, they have developed visions for complete wellness at school, and conducted school health assessments and action plans that they say will benefit students and improve learning.

“By making health and wellness a priority, our teachers are demonstrating leadership in school health promotion and provide a model for other school jurisdictions in the province to follow,” said David Keohane, Superintendent of Schools, in a release Tuesday afternoon. “I am truly impressed with Cathy and her team of health champions. They are a passionate group of educators looking to make a difference for students and staff in our schools. We are proud of their accomplishments, and we look forward to the continued success of the “Healthy Schools, Healthy Learners project.”

The program supports schools in addressing self-identified wellness priorities. Through the Health Champions program schools developed school health teams, created a shared vision for wellness, completed school health assessments, and developed school health action plans.

Traynor’s leadership has lead to regularly scheduled healthy schools meetings that have helped the program provide access to resources, professional learning opportunities, and seed funding to put health plans in place.

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