Last updated: Mar 02, 2016

TIE 2. Rawhide Elementary
Gillette, Wyoming
170 students in grades K through 6


Our panelists raved about this small, rural schools commitment to health and the way the sprawling 5,000-square-mile district helps to make it happen. “This is a model of excellence that should be copied around the nation,” judge Martin says. “Collaborating with parents and community stakeholders is one of the most important aspects of promoting healthy living. This ensures that healthy lifestyles arent just talked about while in school but are actually practiced at home and in the community.”

With district financial support, Rawhide employs a building fitness coordinator in addition to its physical education instructor, a remarkable step for an elementary school; as a result, students get 20 minutes of daily “wellness time” in addition to recess and PE. The Cardiac Club, which gives students and faculty the opportunity to do a variety of fitness activities, meets every morning. Plus, theres a walking loop on campus.

Rawhides strong health component begins in kindergarten and covers nutrition, personal safety, drug-abuse prevention, and lifetime fitness. And the staff is encouraged to stay healthy, too, thanks to TriFIT testing (which is used to monitor and improve fitness levels), yoga classes, and discounted fitness-club and recreation-center memberships.

This commitment to teaching children how to be healthy kids and active adults, combined with Rawhides staff-wellness initiatives, demonstrates a consistency of message that impressed judge Pasternak.