‘Our Parents Have Carried the Banner’: Principals’ Breakfast Celebrates & Looks Ahead

March 06, 2013

Last week at HSC’s annual Principals’ Breakfast, more than 150 parents and educators joined forces and celebrated their significant contributions to healthier schools. Parent representatives from several schools shared their experiences, and other change makers announced new initiatives for making more strides.

Last week at HSC's annual Principals' Breakfast, more than 150 parents and educators joined forces and celebrated their significant contributions to healthier schools. Parent representatives from several schools shared their experiences, and other change makers announced new initiatives for making more strides.

Michael Heidkamp, Principal of Nathanael Greene Elementary School, praised parents for their ongoing work. “Our parents have carried the banner for health and wellness through multiple administrations over several years,” Heidkamp told the crowd. “More importantly, they hold me accountable, not merely talking a big game but demonstrating the consistent action showing that childrens’ health and wellness is a priority at our school.”

Heidkamp said the school's parent wellness team was the driving force behind the school being awarded “Gold” status by the HealthierUS School Challenge. He also commended parent leader Karina Macedo, who was recognized by the White House last year for the incredible progress she spearheaded. New partnerships, new fundraisers, a popular global healthy cooking class — all because of the wellness team.

Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who was honored with an award, congratulated the group for their successful efforts, and noted that their work has been institutionalized as a way to make schools healthier.

William A. Rogers, the Chairperson of the local school council at Westinghouse High School, said he would leave with a lot of vital information to bring back to the school community. “We have students from all over the Chicago area,” Rogers said. “We want to bring them into the 21st century in a lot of ways. And this Principals’ Breakfast, to me, today, is something new that must be added.”

One of the key honorees of the day was Flavia Hernandez, principal at McCormick Elementary School, who was given the Recess Hero Award for her instrumental role in bringing recess back to CPS elementary schools. Hernandez, who has been a part of Parents United efforts since the beginning, was impressed.

“As I was listening to some of the stories, I was thinking, ‘Wow, we really need to continue the efforts,’” Hernandez said.

Congratulations to all the school wellness teams that were honored at the Principals’ Breakfast!

Outstanding School Wellness Teams

Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts & Dual Language
Charles G. Hammond Elementary School
Charles R. Darwin Elementary School
Cyrus H. McCormick Elementary School
Francisco I. Madero Middle School
Irma C. Ruiz Elementary School
John C. Burroughs Elementary School
Little Village Elementary School
Louis Pasteur Elementary School
Manuel Perez Elementary School
Nathanael Greene Elementary School
Richard J. Daley Elementary Academy
Trailblazer School Wellness Teams
Bernhard Moos Elementary School
Jackie Robinson Elementary School
Joseph Jungman Elementary School
Mancel Talcott Elementary School
Mariano Azuela Elementary School
Nathan S. Davis Elementary School
Socorro Sandoval Elementary School
Velma F. Thomas Elementary School
Walter S. Christopher Elementary School
Emerging School Wellness Teams
Cesar E. Chavez Multicultural Academic Center Elementary School
Enrico Tonti Elementary School
Gage Park High School
George Westinghouse High School
Ida B. Wells Preparatory Elementary Academy
John H. Hamline Elementary School


Thanks to all attendees for being such positive and committed agents of change! Parents United for Healthy Schools is always looking for new schools and parent communities to get involved. Interested? Please contact Guillermo Gomez, GGomez@healthyschoolscampaign.org.