SOURCE: Action for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids

October 23, 2014 09:00 ET

Action for Healthy Kids Announces 2014 Healthy School Hero Award Winners

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - October 23, 2014) - Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK), America's largest non-profit volunteer organization working with schools to fight childhood obesity and improve children's health and readiness to learn, announces the winners of the 2013-2014 Healthy School Hero Awards. Since 2004, AFHK has recognized educators, parents, health professionals, and community leaders for their exceptional dedication and service towards the vision, mission, and goals of AFHK -- to make Every Kid Healthy™ -- through volunteer work in their schools and communities.

The twelve winners were nominated by their peers as driving forces behind school wellness initiatives. They represent the many faces of individuals across the country helping to create healthier school environments for students today, from a kindergarten teacher and principal to a food service director and school nurse. The winners are:

  • Mary Colver, RN -- Certified School Nurse, Little Fort Elementary School (Waukegan, Ill.)
  • Dana Dougherty -- Parent, PTA Volunteer, Substitute Teacher, Oakridge Elementary School (Arlington, Va.)
  • Colleen Gonzalez -- Youth Health & Wellness Advocate, Lake Orienta Elementary (Altamonte Springs, Fla.)
  • Leslie Levine -- Technical Assistance Coordinator, Live Well Colorado, Parent Volunteer, Greenwood Elementary/West Middle School (Greenwood Village, Colo.)
  • Robert Lewis -- Director of Nutrition Services, El Monte City School District (El Monte, Cali.)
  • Sarah McAfee -- Parents and Community Coordinator, James A. Garfield IPS 31 (Indianapolis, Ind.)
  • Greta Massetti -- PTA Volunteer, Evansdale Elementary School (DeKalb, Ga.)
  • Kelly Miller, PTA Wellness Chair for Laurel Woods Elementary (Laurel, Md.)
  • Jessica F. Sartain -- Kindergarten Teacher, Northport Elementary School (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
  • Doreen Simonds -- School Foodservice Director, Waterford School District (Waterford, Mich.)
  • Dana Williams -- School Leader Pathway Programs, Former Principal, University Park Elementary School (Denver, Colo.)
  • Paul Zientarski -- Retired Learning Readiness PE (LRPE) Coordinator, now PE Consultant, Naperville Central High School (Naperville, Ill.)

"At the core of Action for Healthy Kids are thousands of committed and passionate volunteers who help create healthier learning environments for our children," said Rob Bisceglie, CEO of Action for Healthy Kids. "It was a challenge to choose the winners from so many excellent nominees. These individuals have made outstanding efforts to affect change and have demonstrated a long-term commitment to help ensure students in their schools and communities are healthy and ready to learn."

The award winners are being recognized for a wide range of accomplishments, from turning a community garden into a learning lab and implementing universal school breakfast to developing a physical activity based brain-break curriculum and conducting breakthrough research linking physical activity with improved academic performance. Read their stories, and learn how to volunteer in your own school, start a wellness program, and create a healthier school environment by visiting

About Action for Healthy Kids©

Action for Healthy Kids is the nation's leading nonprofit and volunteer network fighting childhood obesity and undernourishment by helping schools become healthier places and our kids learn to eat right, be active every day and be ready to learn. In 2013 Action for Healthy Kids reached nearly 12.9 million students in 29,000 schools with the help of 75,000 volunteers and champions. More information is available at, on Facebook ( and on Twitter (

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