Norris a Winner in Wellness; Recognized by Governor

Norris a Winner in Wellness; Recognized by Governor

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The Norris District was featured this week as one of the Governor's 2013 Wellness Award recipients. Norris was one of just 9 districts out of nearly 250 in the state to receive the honor this year. Norris was a winner in the Sower's Division, and classified as a large organization (all companies or organizations with 50 or more employees).

The award was created to recognize Nebraska employers that have developed successful models for encouraging wellness at work. The award is highly selective and applicants must meet rigorous criteria to earn the honor.  Criteria for the award include a leadership structure of committee support, administrative oversight, and identified leadership, in addition to community involvement through at least one outreach program (Norris offers a backpack program as an anti-hunger initiative, for instance). The district's Coordinated School Health council meets quarterly and is led by Chair Jane Hansmeyer, a Norris HS teacher and wellness champion who has been instrumental in coordinating professional development and wellness services for staff, including regular reminders of health tips to staff called "NPULSE."

The district's Coordinated School Health Policy notes that staff members are expected to be healthy role models for students and focuses on the importance of nutrition literacy and physical activity in maintaining healthy lifestyles. Staff members are discouraged from consuming foods of minimal nutritional value in the presence of students, and encouraged to lead and model physical activity breaks as a tool to engage learners and maintain highly productive classrooms. 

Norris and other winners will be honored for their accomplishments at the Nebraska Safety Council's annual conference and the WorkWell (Lincoln Lancaster Co.-Health Dept.) banquets this fall.