Gallatin Gateway School Celebrates National Healthy Schools Gold-Level Award

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
By Allyson Hagen

Gallatin Gateway School Celebrates National Healthy Schools Gold-Level Award

(Gallatin Gateway, MT) Gallatin Gateway School in Gallatin Gateway, Montana, joined an exclusive national group last month, earning two prestigious Gold Awards in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) program.

The HealthierUS School Challenge program recognizes schools that are creating healthy environments by promoting excellence in nutrition and physical activity.  Gallatin Gateway School is one of eleven schools in Montana to receive a HUSSC award since 2006.  Dr. DeBruycker, said,”Our school is excited to be receiving these two awards.  I am so proud of the healthy lifestyle habits being taught by our staff and in turn, displayed by our students.”

Superintendent Juneau said, "Schools receiving these awards are models for schools across the state because they demonstrate their commitment to the health and wellness of Montana children. Children who eat healthy meals and are active are better prepared for success in the classroom."

To qualify for the Gold award, Gallatin Gateway School submitted two detailed applications documenting adherence to the HealthierUS School Challenge criteria for their lunch menus, nutrition education, opportunities for physical activity, and a local school wellness policy.  Dr. Kimberly DeBruycker, Superintendent, and Chef Jason Moore, Food Service Manager led the HUSSC application process, along with broad-based support from the school’s health and physical activity staff including Mrs. Elizabeth Matthews, Mr. Mike Coon, and Mr. Joe Mohr.  The school will receive $3000 from USDA to support their school meals program.  One award is for the K-6 meals program and the other for the 7-8 meals program.

Gallatin Gateway school meals are prepared from scratch with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy foods, lean protein choices and whole grain foods.  Chef Moore and assistant cook/head baker Mrs. Bobbi Jo Gunderson serve tasty meals, which the students eat and enjoy.  “These are not your ordinary or traditional school meals!”  Chef Jason Moore stated.  “We survey our students and work to prepare the kind of healthy meals they will enjoy.”

This school is remarkable for its exceptional approach to making mealtime at school pleasant for both students and adults.  The mealtime atmosphere is just as important as the meal itself.  Gallatin Gateway School has created a comfortable cafeteria in which students and adults enjoy mealtime together and students learn to become competent eaters.  Gallatin Gateway School is featured in a national training DVD, Comfortable Cafeterias. 

The high priority placed on physical activity and physical education along with innovative programs to increase students’ physical activity were another key reason for the Gold recognition of Gallatin Gateway School.  Health enhancement teachers, Mr. Mohr and Mr. Coon, have been instrumental in creating fun ways to get kids up and moving, such as school-wide fit days, walk to school days, get-fit activities and more. Both intramural and interscholastic sport options are available for students in grades 5-8. 

Montana Office of Public Instruction officials will present the award to Gallatin Gateway School on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at 10:00 am and participate in a school-wide celebration with a special lunch meal following. In celebration of National School Breakfast Week, Gallatin Gateway School will be serving a student favorite – Breakfast for Lunch. Parents and community members are invited to attend the award celebration and lunch.

Click here to download an agenda for the award celebration.


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