Thanks and Farewell to Dr. Stephanie Whyte
March 25, 2015 | Written By: Healthy Schools Campaign
For the past three years, Dr. Whyte has worked tirelessly to champion the health and wellness of CPS students.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been working diligently the past few years to improve the health and wellness of its students. As a part of this commitment, in February 2012, CPS hired Dr. Stephanie Whyte, the district’s first-ever chief health officer.
Dr. Whyte came from a medical background with a focus on pediatrics as well as working in minority communities in Chicago. She understands the challenges CPS students face. “I’m from the community and have worked in the community,” she told HSC a few months after she started. “I’ve seen how a condition like asthma, for example, can have a great impact on a student if it’s not controlled. I’ve seen moms sit and cry because they didn’t know what to do. But having open, honest and engaging dialogue with parents makes a huge difference. That is the environment the district is working hard to create, one in which parents can freely ask questions and we improve on how we react and relate to parents.”
For the past three years, Dr. Whyte has worked tirelessly to champion the health and wellness of CPS students. During her tenure, the district passed a Local School Wellness and a Healthy Snack and Beverage policy that positioned CPS as a national leader in creating a healthy school environment. The district also passed a PE policy that requires high-quality PE for elementary schools as well as re-instituted PE for 11th and 12th graders after a 17-year absence from the curriculum.
HSC has been proud to partner with Dr. Whyte and CPS on progress for health and wellness in CPS. We’re especially proud of our work together on Go for the Gold, a partnership between HSC and CPS that improved the food and fitness environment in 40 percent of all elementary schools. That program laid the groundwork for the LearnWell initiative, which aims to make CPS schools healthier places for students to learn and grow.
Dr. Whyte has been involved in many HSC programs and events, including serving as a judge for our Cooking up Change competition and speaking at our annual Principals’ Breakfast.
As Dr. Whyte moves on to her next endeavor, we extend a huge thank you for working with us to make such great progress. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Office of Student Health and Wellness as the years continue.