Last updated: Mar 02, 2016

TIE 2. Amory Middle
Amory, Mississippi
479 students in grades 6 through 8


A battle against its states obesity problem, combined with admirable creativity, make this middle school not only Mississippis shining star but also a national model. The fitness push at Amory was off the charts: The school collaborated with a home-improvement retailer to build a rock-climbing wall, set up an on-site fitness center that offers twice-weekly family-friendly activities from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and implemented a school-wide mission to get (and keep) kids moving. “We have become Dance, Dance Revolution,” principal Cheryl Moore says. “We traverse the rock-climbing wall, play ping-pong, power walk, and much more.”

Amory also wowed panelists with its hydration policy, which allows students to bring water into the classroom, and its healthy-snack policy, which bridges the gap to lunch. Plus, the school provides great nutritional education through its healthful lunch menus and special events like the Healthy Wok workshop.

The schools faculty-driven push to incorporate health education throughout the curriculum earned a high mark from health-ed judge Areva Martin, who saw this as a way to give students “a solid foundation for healthy living.”