Colchester Middle School
Emily Desautels, Colchester Middle School’s music instructor, is conducting the band’s final rehearsal before the holiday concert. Her facial expressions, her infectious smile and the way in which she uses her megaphone intermittently to shout out each verse of the song Up on the Housetop, as the students play on, say plenty about her. Her vivacious personality shines though and her students are fully engaged. “Emily is an incredibly upbeat, positive, energetic person”, said Carol Smith, one of her colleagues. “She puts an optimistic spin on every situation and volunteers her time far beyond the classroom. She models healthy living in all facets of her life and serves as our employee wellness leader. Two years ago she and I participated in the Genavix program, a program designed to improve one’s nutritional and exercise habits. Emily has continued to implement its lessons, monitoring her daily water intake by moving a rubber band up her water bottle for each full bottle she drinks eight times a day. She is a true beacon of support, encouragement and health.”
“After the Genavix program I traded my Eggos for smoothies, stopped eating popcorn and corn chips after dinner and realized how I could eat enough of the right stuff,” said Desautels. “I listened to my body more, focused more on stress management and now make healthier foods. She teaches Zumba twice a week, co-teach Hip/Hop and Cardio and am now training to lead Pound classes,” she said excitedly. And until a few years ago, I directed the school’s annual musical but when I found myself coming home grumpy and unhappy, I knew it was time to let it go.”
As a building wellness leader, Desautels has offered a potluck, a kindness challenge and a program entitled “Once upon a Rock. “I am presently collecting information about who might be interested in taking a core strengthening /yoga class after school and I would like to offer a staff hike,” she said. “I am now part of the school’s leadership team and honor a standing date to walk nearly three miles with a small group on a weekly basis.”
At home, Desautels has 13 chickens she cares for daily. “A few years ago I read an article about raising chickens and decided it sounded like fun. I like knowing where my food comes from and going out in the backyard to get eggs. I do farm chores in the morning and I find the chickens very entertaining,” she said as she laughed.