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2016 Healthy School Hero: Kathleen Wack

Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education, West Liberty University

As Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education at West Liberty University, Kathleen Wack cultivates partnerships between area schools and the university to benefit both K-12 and college students. Most students at West Liberty University gain experience with local schools, including hosting field trips to the university, planning and executing family fitness nights, teaching integrated movement in the classroom curricula and providing physical activity and physical education to a variety of audiences.

Kathleen helped organize family fun nights at West Liberty Elementary School during Every Kid Healthy Week. One night was “West Liberty on Wheels” where students could ride bicycles, scooters, skateboards or rollerblade on a closed course, all while exploring important safety concepts at stations throughout the course. Another big hit was “Dance through the Decades” nigh, during which students from each grade level dressed in different period costumes from the 1950s to the 2000s. The kids led students from other grades, along with parents and grandparents, in popular dances from each decade.

Kathleen acknowledges that West Virginia is one of the unhealthiest states by almost every health indicator, including obesity rates. However, she believes that schools are the ideal place to reverse these trends and that a healthy school environment is the first line of defense in combatting obesity.