Northbrook Junior High School has been given a state Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Health Education for its curriculum and school programs that support student health and well-being.

According to a news release, the Illinois School Health Association and Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance made the award after a detailed application and an on-site visit where two representatives interviewed teachers, administration, students and parents. Wendy Concklin is the health teacher who has designed and continually updates the health curriculum for all students in grades 6-8. Every student participates in nine weeks of health education each year, the release said.

“Northbrook Junior High continues to exemplify how a school community works together to reach today’s youth in health education,” Ben Leven, of ISHA/IAHPERD, said.

Concklin uses multiple sources to develop customized, age-appropriate coursework at each grade level, the release said. Quest for Health focuses on health promotion, wellness prevention, maintenance of positive health and complies with all state- standards. The entire curriculum is posted online{weblink} for parent and student access.

“We are thrilled to receive this honor,” Concklin said. The recognition is valid for five years, according to the release.

In addition to the health curriculum, the school was noted for focusing resources on the whole child and offering diverse extracurricular activities including video club which produces the morning announcement, Builders Club, and Fitness Cub, the release said. Other school initiatives include the Charity of Choice, food drive, coat drive, Peer Mentors, Buddy Group and LGBTQIA group.

Students have the choice to participate in the school musical, work in the garden, participate in athletics and play in various instrumental and vocal groups, according to the release. This variety of opportunity “gives every student the opportunity to be seen, valued for their contribution, attributes and talents,” the group wrote in its evaluation.

“District 28 firmly believes in educating the whole child,” Scott Meek, NBJH principal, said in the release. “NBJH is proud to offer a variety of events, programs and supports that promote students’ health and well-being, and Wendy Concklin’s leadership in this area is unparalleled.”

Concklin and Northbrook Junior High School will be recognized at the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Association awards ceremony on November 30.

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