Well teachers make good teachers

Published 10:55 pm Friday, August 23, 2019

Most Suffolk Public Schools employees recently saw their summer come to an end and are preparing to go back to school for another year.

As part of their preparations, employees recently got the chance to participate in a wellness fair — the first time in six years that one has taken place, according to Executive Director of Finance Wendy Forsman.

During the wellness fair, employees could get biometric screenings and mammograms. They participated in line dancing, Zumba and other exercise demonstrations. There were demonstrations of the Virgin Pulse wellness tool, through which employees can track their wellness activities and earn points for them. They also heard from the Anthem insurance provider and got to ask questions of the division’s benefits providers.

Email newsletter signup

Refreshments were served, a DJ played music, and staff from different schools all got to know each other in a relaxed environment.

In the past decade or so, more and more employers are catching on to the fact that healthy employees equals better morale, better performance, less employee absenteeism, lower health and insurance costs and many other benefits.

A 2016 report sponsored by Aflac found that 54 percent of employers have a company-sponsored wellness program, up from 30 percent just four years earlier. And 61 percent of employees who are offered a wellness program agree they’ve made healthier lifestyle choices because of it and report higher levels of job satisfaction.

We’re pleased to see the school division’s increased focus on wellness and new wellness specialist, Anne McCoy, coming on board, as reported in Friday’s story on the wellness fair.

Making sure Suffolk’s educators have all the resources available to take care of their own physical and mental health helps ensure they will be able to show up — both in body and in spirit — for Suffolk’s 14,000 young people over the next 10 months. It also is an important step in helping employees feel valued by their employer, which will help boost morale.

We say “way to go” for the Suffolk Public Schools Wellness and Benefits Fair and hope to see this renewed event continue every year.