Janise McNally, wellness coordinator for Cherry Creek Schools, is one of only 14 people across the U.S. to receive the Kaiser Thriving Schools Honor Roll Award from Kaiser Permanente. The award, which recognizes individuals who are championing sustainable and healthy school environments, was presented at the 2017 Colorado Healthy Schools Summit on March 3.
McNally has implemented a number of health and wellness programs to support the physical and psychological well-being of students, staff and parents. Students benefit from programs including Girls on the Run and Playworks, which leverages the power of safe, fun and healthy play at school every day.
Under McNally’s leadership, workplace wellness initiatives have grown to include 10K-A-Day and Health for the Holidays, programs that help employees develop and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Using her background in mental health, McNally has trained more than 1,000 staff members in brain-based mindfulness strategies to promote resilience and improve overall wellness.
The Wellness office also sponsors the Cherry Creek Schools Parent Academy, which offers positive and proven programs for parents, including the highly regarded Guiding Good Choices workshops.
McNally has led or supported policy initiatives aimed at creating lasting systems and practice change around school climate, healthy eating and active living. She has a passion for addressing topics typically steeped in stigma such as suicide, depression and obesity from a public health perspective. She has been a catalyst for change in her district and in neighboring school districts, where she lends her knowledge as a thought partner and pioneer in school workforce health. She is well respected throughout Colorado for her engagement, vision and expertise in improving the health of students and staff.