National awards shine spotlight on employee wellness

Serving 56,000 students throughout Garland, Rowlett and Sachse, it takes more than 7,500 staff members to ensure they receive the best education in the nation. That’s why Garland ISD Employee Wellness and Nutrition works tirelessly to keep district employees healthy, fit and able to do their jobs. The outstanding efforts of Coordinator Liz Kiertscher have recently gained some national attention.

In October, GISD was awarded Bronze recognition in the American Heart Association’s 2019 Workplace Health Achievement Index. This science-based evaluation measures the overall quality and comprehensiveness of workplace health programs. Calculating an average heart health score for employees, participating companies also receive benchmarking reports, which allow them to identify potential areas of improvement so that they can advance their annual performance and recognition. 

In February, Kiertscher received word that the district was named a 2019 Best and Brightest in Wellness winner as well. This award highlights companies, schools, faith-based groups, and organizations that plan, implement, and evaluate efforts in employee wellness to make their business and the community a healthier place to live and work. GISD joins an elite group of 2019 winners, including Blackberry and Young Living Essential Oils.

In March, Kiertscher also learned the district received a 2020 Best Wellness Employer Silver Certification. This designation is awarded by Wellness Workdays to organizations committed to creating a best-in-class corporate wellness program that promotes a culture of well-being. GISD is the only PreK-12 school district to receive this recognition.

Among the many efforts of GISD Employee Wellness and Nutrition, Kiertscher is most known for her healthy cooking demonstrations, weekly Zumba and Yoga classes, and access to ample resources.