Although Garland ISD’s Employee Wellness and Nutrition Department has only been around a few years, it is already making a huge impact across the district. In 2017-18, GISD won its second-consecutive It’s Time Texas Community Challenge title. Pitting cities and school districts against one another to promote healthy nutrition and exercise, this competition encourages participants to post selfies, take pledges and coordinate activities. GISD’s two-time success can be credited to the tireless efforts of Employee Wellness and Nutrition Coordinator, Liz Kiertscher.
GISD also won a new recognition this year thanks to her efforts as well. The district achieved a Health Champion Designation from the American Diabetes Association, which recognizes companies and organizations that inspire and encourage systemic well-being. To qualify for the Health Champion Designation, a company or organization must meet the healthy living criteria in three areas. They include:
- Nutrition and Weight Management
- Physical activity
- Organizational well-being
GISD received its prestigious honor because of the many initiatives implemented by the Employee Wellness and Nutrition Department. Kiertscher hosts healthy cooking demonstrations, organizes weekly Zumba and Yoga classes, and coordinates with medical professionals around the area to provide seminars and services. She also ensures all employees are equipped with ample information and access to resources.
“By providing these resources for our employees, we help them remain healthy and engaged, so that they can provide the best education for our students,” said Kiertscher after being recognized with an Evidence of Excellence by the GISD Board of Trustees June 26. “It definitely was a group effort. It wasn’t just me, so I would like to thank our Employee Wellness Committee, Health Services, School Health Advisory Council, nurses, PE teachers, counselors and other staff members who are engaged in health and wellness. Their efforts have not only allowed us to get these awards but have also brought awareness to health and wellness in the district.”