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By Julia Joshi and Brittany Power
â€œWhen will I use this in real life?â€ This is a question many teachers get asked by students. Often students tend to wonder why what they are learning in a class is relevantÂ to their lives in the future. In the wellness department, teachersÂ aim to helpÂ students understand how muchÂ wellness and personal health applyÂ to their lives. â€œWellness 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 departmentÂ is not HHS’Â largest, the five dedicated teachers work hard to give students a well-rounded education on a veryÂ important subject: their health. Head of the department Bruce Elliott, along with Maillet, Michael Miller, Michael Hooker, and Mark Sanborn, collaborativelyÂ create and teach lessons to educate students on their well-being. â€œThe 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,â€ says Elliott.
Wellness incorporatesÂ both classroom and activity periods that help shape students’Â 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 areÂ classroom classes,Â along withÂ activity classes including recreational games, tai chi and yoga, RAD, personal fitness, and weight training. â€œWe 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,â€ says Elliot.
In addition to their teaching responsibilities, members ofÂ 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 herÂ own personal fitness while encouraging the fitness of their students. Elliot competes inÂ triathlons, Sanborn finds time for a little basketball, andÂ 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.â€œI think that the wellness department has taught me a lot about my health and have given me the tools to live a healthy life,â€ says Momo Haidri, senior at HHS.