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Julia Joshi

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By Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

“When will I use this in real life?” This is a question many teachers get asked by students. Often students tend to wonder why what they are learning in a class is relevant to their lives in the future. In the wellness department, teachers aim to help students understand how much wellness and personal health apply to their lives. “Wellness pertains to your whole life,” says Diane Maillet, wellness teacher. “I like teaching realistic topics that many students will use throughout their lives.”

Though the wellness department is not HHS’ largest, the five dedicated teachers work hard to give students a well-rounded education on a very important subject: their health. Head of the department Bruce Elliott, along with Maillet, Michael Miller, Michael Hooker, and Mark Sanborn, collaboratively create and teach lessons to educate students on their well-being. “The main goals of our wellness department are to be able give students in depth knowledge of what wellness means, and provide a platform to help students live long healthy lives and to avoid the pitfalls that we know exist in society,” says Elliott.
Wellness incorporates both classroom and activity periods that help shape students’ mental and physical well-being. At the beginning of their high school career, ninth graders learn about the six aspects of wellness that they will focus on all throughout their lives: physical, social/emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational/ leisure, intellectual. There are classroom classes, along with activity classes including recreational games, tai chi and yoga, RAD, personal fitness, and weight training. “We aim to offer a variety of physical activities that allow students choices and options that we hope may become part of a long term fitness plan that they then do outside of school, and that they continue to build on the foundation we provide them through their stages of life,” says Elliot.

In addition to their teaching responsibilities, members of the wellness department find other ways to incorporate themselves into the community to stay connected with students. Sanborn coaches basketball, football, and baseball throughout the year, and Miller coaches volleyball. Elliott has also begun a personal fitness club that meets every week after school.
Each individual member of the wellness department does something to maintain his or her own personal fitness while encouraging the fitness of their students. Elliot competes in triathlons, Sanborn finds time for a little basketball, and Miller, Maillet, and Hooker can often be found in the weight and cardio rooms of HHS.
Overall, the wellness teachers of the school have a great passion for what they do and try their best to make sure students are educated about their health and can use that knowledge throughout their whole life.“I think that the wellness department has taught me a lot about my health and have given me the tools to live a healthy life,” says Momo Haidri, senior at HHS.

“I like working and interacting with students it’s by far the best part [of my job]," says Hooker Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

“I like working and interacting with students,” says Hooker. “It’s by far the best part [of my job].”

“Anytime I can be in the gym, or in the weight room, those are my favorite classes to teach,” says Hooker. Photo by: Brittany Power and Julia Joshi

“Anytime I can be in the gym, or in the weight room, those are my favorite classes to teach,” says Hooker.

Mr. Miller instructs his personal fitness class in the Athletic Center. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

Mr. Miller instructs his personal fitness class in the Athletic Center.

The whiteboard reads the objective of that day's class, "Utilize lifelong activities like badminton to improve health and fitness." This emphasizes the course's ability to relate to real life. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

Miller’s wellness class, warming up before playing badminton. The whiteboard includes an objective–“utilize lifelong activities like badminton to improve health and fitness”–that emphasizes the course’s connection to real life.

Mr. Miller and Mr. Hooker plan their classes for the day. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

Mr. Miller and Mr. Hooker plan their classes for the day.

"I like to run, work out, lift weights, and go skiing. I play pick up basketball here and there, I play softball in the summer, and go hiking once in awhile," says Sanborn. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

“I like to run, work out, lift weights, and go skiing,” says Sanborn. “I play pick-up basketball here and there, I play softball in the summer, and go hiking once in awhile.”

"I'm trying to make more of an effort to work out here while I can, so I do some cardio and strength training," says Maillet. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

“I’m trying to make more of an effort to work out here while I can, so I do some cardio and strength training,” says Maillet.

 

Mr. Hooker teaching one of his ninth grade wellness classes. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

Mr. Hooker teaching one of his ninth grade wellness classes.

 

 

 

"I think that kids can become too sedentary and it’s important to get [the students] out and about and active, there comes a realization when you're active, and you develop a lot of strengthening in the brain which not only bring physical benefits, but mental also," says Miller. In this photo (L-R): Sarah Powers, Peter Dobinski, Nate Wilson, Michael Miller, Christina Goncalves. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

“I think that kids can become too sedentary and it’s important to get [the students] out and about and active,” says Miller. “There comes a realization when you’re active, and you develop a lot of strengthening in the brain which not only bring physical benefits, but mental also.”  In this photo (lef to right): Sarah Powers, Pete Dobinski, Nate Wilson, Miller, Christina Goncalves.

"Being a wellness teacher gives me the oppurtunity to teach something that I love doing, It's especially fun being able to work with such nice, motivated and respectful students," says Sanborn. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

“Being a wellness teacher gives me the opportunity to teach something that I love doing,” says Sanborn. “It’s especially fun being able to work with such nice, motivated and respectful students.”

"What is so great about our wellness department is being able to see students to understand the material we teach them and apply it to their lives. I think that the wellness department has a huge impact on HHS from the curriculum we teach and our ability to connect to students on a more personal level," says Elliott. Photo by: Julia Joshi and Brittany Power

“What is so great about our wellness department is being able to see students to understand the material we teach them and apply it to their lives,” said Elliott. “I think that the wellness department has a huge impact on HHS from the curriculum we teach and our ability to connect to students on a more personal level.”

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Welcome to Wellness Photo Essay