St. Albans Town Education Center
One can’t help but smile when they bump into Lisa Sutton in the hallways of the St. Albans Town Education Center. Her bubbly persona catches your attention. Nominated as a VEHI Thriving rock star by several of her colleagues, including Germaine Cross, Andrew Palumbo, Jo-Anne McCoy, Jill Boomhover and Helen Lantier, Sutton is in her third year of serving as a VEHI PATH building leader. “The minute I saw the wellness position was open I knew I wanted to do it, “she said. “Who doesn’t like support and someone caring about them? If the staff are happy, that’s the reward.” Of the 125 people who are employed by the SAEC, 86 of them are now actively participating in the VEHI PATH program.
“When Lisa Sutton took over as the wellness leader, the whole dynamic of our wellness committee changed,” said Cross, a central office employee. “Lisa has been a force to drive participation and to provide for her staff. Her dedication has seeped into the committee as a whole. I see other wellness leaders stepping up to provide more in their buildings because of Lisa’s contagious energy.”
“The district wide family fun night was our largest yet in no small part to due to her ideas, determination and participation,” Cross continued. “She began getting people jazzed about the evening at our district convocation and the largest attendance came from her school. Lisa hired a comedian to come at the end of the school year and on another day she asked a person who breeds golden retrievers to bring puppies to the school so employees could go outside and play with the puppies. We are so lucky to have her. “
“Sutton plans awesome activities and as a result a group of teachers is now planning a weekend wellness adventure in Maine.” I can’t say enough about the difference she has made in the wellness of our schools community,” said Lantier. “Lisa works tireless to find new and fun ways to bring wellness opportunities for our school and helps people individually improve our wellness,” said Boomhover. “As a result of Lisa’s leadership our staff has participated in Zumba, walking clubs, yoga and healthy pot lucks,” said McCoy.
“Lisa is full of positive energy and has a constant smile for everyone. While she works with the most challenging population of students, she maintains her positive attitude. She plans and gets others involved in rolling out great celebrations for wellness. She inspires even the most sluggish of us to want to work at wellness,” said Maskell.
Sutton recently became trained as a GROOVE instructor. “GROOVE is a more inclusive way of encouraging movement. There are only one or two rhythmic movements with music with each of the segments. You can wear whatever shoes you have on and you can do your own thing,” Sutton said as she demonstrated. “It’s easier for most people and so fun. “
With the help of the librarian, Sutton created a Zen room that staff are welcome to use to meditate, stretch and for quiet reflection. It is equipped with a sound machine, a variety of music to listen to, a singing bowl, books and a poster explaining how to begin meditating. Sutton has organized classes in Tai Chi, yoga and has brought in an athletic trainer to work individually with staff. Stay tuned as I am sure she has plenty more ideas for the rest of this school year.