Skip to content

Celebrating America’s Healthiest Schools: Elizabeth Andrews High School

Kaiser Permanente knows healthy schools support improved learning for children and higher job satisfaction among teachers and staff. That’s why every year we are proud to sponsor America’s Healthiest Schools, one of the country’s longest-running national recognition programs honoring schools for their achievements in supporting the whole health needs of students and school staff.

In partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the annual awards recognize schools for implementing best practices and policies in up to nine topic areas related to advancing the physical, mental, and social-emotional health of students, staff, and families.

In 2023, 781 schools across 36 states were recognized, including Elizabeth Andrews High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Elizabeth Andrews High School, located in a suburb of Atlanta, has a distinctive approach to supporting students in their academic journey towards graduation. The high school is open to students from across DeKalb County who aspire to start college or work early, students needing to make up courses for graduation, employed dropouts seeking education, and students who are married with family obligations.

The school aims to empower students with adult responsibilities in their education and conduct by tailoring courses and instruction to their unique needs.

Recognized by the America’s Healthiest Schools Awards, the school understands that one of the keys to lifelong success is physical and mental health. The school was rewarded for their work across three categories – each of which they apply in and out of the classroom:

  1. Implementing local school wellness policy
  2. Bolstering physical education and activity
  3. Enriching health education

The staff at Elizabeth Andrews must be nimble to meet the needs of students, who can take advantage of flexible scheduling if they have other commitments. This makes their ability to establish a team that met regularly over the last two years to support the implementation of the school’s wellness policy even more impressive. One result of this policy was a focus on serving more vegetables to improve overall health and well-being. According to Dr. Joyce Frederick, Assistant Principal of Instruction, Discipline, and Attendance, this change benefited not only students but also faculty and staff. Additionally, the Wellness Team successfully introduced an afterschool physical fitness program for students twice a week.

The program was a great complement to the physical education program already in place, which included using Zoom to offer Tai Chi, dance classes, and cardio fitness from beginning to intermediate levels. Students liked having these virtual options, especially those busy with independent study projects or community-based apprenticeships. To meet the needs of students on site during the day, peer teaching was used during physical education classes to assist students with special needs while giving their mentors valuable teaching experience.

Health education teacher, Maurice Tyler, built on these exercise and nutrition programs with lessons put together for students. Coursework included giving students support to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need to effectively achieve and ultimately graduate. Coach Tyler also focused on improving students’ mental, emotional, and social well-being, educating them on various topics and encouraging attitudes toward self-care. From a counting steps challenge competition (measurement of walking) to yoga classes, Coach Tyler focuses on activities that help promote fitness as a lifestyle. That’s why all activities are also open to both students and school employees.

“Students have called to share their appreciation for Coach Tyler and how his class was a factor in changing their lives to be better,” said Dr. Frederick.

The Elizabeth Andrews school team introduced innovative ways to help students and staff workout, socialize, and handle stress relief, such as offering Quest 2, the active virtual reality headset that allows for various multiplayer games.

Principal Dr. Milton A. Hall emphasized the importance of patience and nurturing growth, both internally and externally, for students and staff alike, to achieve lasting success: “I would say plant a seed. And as you know, with anything that you plant, you have to start with the seeds and nurture them, so they grow… as you go through the process of ensuring that you’re nurturing it as it begins to grow, then you’re able to build and have something blossom that you’re going to be proud of.”

The America’s Healthiest Schools awards reinforce the mission of Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools initiative, which works to strengthen the health and well-being of school communities across the country, so every school succeeds, every employee excels, and every child thrives.

Kaiser Permanente is proud to be a partner in health to schools like Elizabeth Andrews High School throughout the year. For more information on Thriving Schools, visit or follow @thrivingschools on 𝕏.

The 2024 America’s Healthiest Schools’ award are now open! Applications are due by April 16, 2024.

Back To Top