St. Mary's Co. Public Schools News Briefs

St. Mary's County School Health Council

A general meeting of the School Health Council will be held on October 21, 2015 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Board of Education Meeting Room, located at 23160 Moakley Street in Leonardtown, Maryland. The School Health Council functions as an advisory group to the Board of Education and is organized around the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model which includes: Health Education; Physical Education and Physical Activity; Nutrition Environment and Services, Social and Emotional School Climate; Physical Environment; Health Services; Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services; Community and Family Involvement; and Employee Wellness.

The meeting is open to all interested parties and representation from all school worksites and departments, as well as from parent(s)/guardian(s) and community agencies, is encouraged. This meeting will initially focus on the proposed realignment of the Council to the county's Health Priority Areas, as well as a review of the school system's wellness policy.

Anyone wishing to have an additional item placed on the agenda should e-mail it to prior to the meeting.

National Healthy School Hero Award Winner

Ms. Debora Settle, physical education teacher at Town Creek Elementary School in Lexington Park, MD, has been named a national Healthy School Hero Award winner by Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) for her work to fight childhood obesity and improve children's health and readiness to learn.

Debora watched her mother struggle with health issues for the majority of her life and was determined not to let anyone else experience the same hardships. As wellness champion at her school for the last 15 years, Debora has been recognized as a teacher of the year at both the school and state level. In 2009, she was recognized as the Maryland Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, and Town Creek Elementary School was awarded Honor Roll status after being recognized as Maryland Physical Education Demonstration School on three consecutive occasions.

Debora has implemented a wide range of activities that excite her students about being active, including a Healthy Habits Day full of activities and discussion around five health topics that are actively promoted year round by staff. She has also organized a student walking club, a Cheerleading club, and Family Fitness nights. She is instrumental in a University of Maryland Extension Re-Fresh partnership to encourage students to choose healthy foods.

Dedication Of Captain Walter Francis Duke Elementary School

On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, a dedication ceremony was held at Captain Walter Francis Duke Elementary School. The building was named after a local hero who was honored with many distinguished recognitions including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, and the Canadian War Medal. The Duke family has provided several artifacts and a beautiful bronze seal that are on display in the school. This building also recognizes all branches of the Armed Forces, which are depicted throughout the building.

The school is a modified prototype of Evergreen Elementary School, which opened in 2009. The building was designed with natural daylighting in all instructional spaces.

• LEED certified Gold

• incorporated green school concepts

• uses 23% less energy than a school designed to code

• rainwater harvesting reduces public water use by 90%

• 90% of the construction debris was recycled

Captain Walter Francis Duke Elementary school has a first year enrollment of 570 students with a design capacity of 676 students.

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