Creator of the Healthy Highway Program
As the creator of Healthy Highway, Wendy built the program through the use of educationally sound concepts, innovative
lessons and classroom materials that utilize fun and imaginative traffic metaphors. The goal was to equip children with the tools, skills and beliefs they needed to embrace healthy choices throughout life. After watching her student’s enthusiasm for the program in her physical education classes as well as the success rate, Wendy made the decision to share it with others.
Motivating Children to Practice Healthy Lifestyles
Healthy Highway, now in its 10th year, has motivated thousands of school-aged children to change their eating habits and add more physical activity into their daily lives.
30-Year Physical Education Teacher Develops
PE "Rules of the Road" Program
Prior to developing the Healthy Highway program, Wendy spent 30 years as a Physical Education teacher in the Fulton and Greece, NY school districts. It was during that time that Wendy developed Healthy Highway, the foundation for her entire program. It began with the PE Rules of the Road program, a curriculum-based program designed to teach children how to move safely through a gymnasium using traffic metaphors. This was the catalyst for the development of the Healthy Rules of the Road program, an expansion of the above, incorporating "fuel-injected" nutrition knowledge. Both programs are still in use today in schools across the country.
Empowering Through Partnerships & Committees
Well respected by her peers, Wendy has been recognized for her indomitable will to help children and families develop healthy lifestyles. She has served on a number of health related committees including the Greece School District Wellness Committee and K-2 Assessment Committee. Wendy initiated a partnership with Wegmans Food Markets implementing an in-school nutritional program focused on health, nutrition and education for school-age children.
Wendy's Leadership Turned Kitchens Into Classroom "Nutrition Labs"
Under Wendy’s leadership a district-wide pilot program for school food service departments was developed and implemented allowing them to play a vital role in contributing to a supportive school nutrition environment. Using the Healthy Highway program in their cafeterias, food managers in thirteen Greece, NY elementary schools turned kitchen areas into classroom “nutrition labs”. Wendy's vision is to turn every family's kitchen into a "nutrition lab."
Leader in the Prevent Obesity Network
In 2008, Wendy contributed her time, talent and knowledge to develop an after school program for Two Doors Community Resource Center, a local nonprofit, that created an environment where physical activity and healthy eating was accessible and encouraged for both students and their families. She is currently a leader in the Prevent Obesity Network, a national initiative that works to change
policies and environments to help children and families eat well and move more, especially in communities at highest risk for obesity.
Recipient of Several Awards & Accolades
Wendy has been the recipient of a number of accolades and awards. She was the recipient for the 2012 Amazing Person Retiree Award presented by NYSAHPERD (New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, and Dance). In 2003, she was named Teacher of the Week and, in 2004, she was a finalist for the New York State Teacher of the Year and Dole 5 A Day Creative Teacher of the Year awards. In 2012 Wendy Cooper was the recipient of the Amazing Person Award from the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. In 2015, Wendy received two awards, the Special Olympics Healthy Communities Partner of Excellence Award and the Greece Chamber of Commerce's Annual Community Awards Health Award. Over her career she has been recognized with several staff appreciation awards as well as district achievement awards.
Recognized as an Expert in her Field
A recognized expert in her field, Wendy has presented to a number of professional audiences nationally and in New York State. She has been a presenter at the Illinois State Conference, National Physical Education Institute in North Carolina and a two-time presenter at the NYSAHPERD Conference. Prior to that she presented at the AAHPERD National Conference in Tampa, Florida and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Education & Professional Development
Wendy holds a Bachelors Degree in Health and Physical Education from Kent State University in Ohio and completed her graduate studies through SUNY at Cortland and Brockport College. She was one of the inaugural participants of the American Master Teacher Program in content and pedagogy. In addition, she holds a number of professional development certificates obtained over her 30-year
Healthy Highway Recognized Nationally
After retiring in 2007, Wendy has been very involved with getting the Healthy Highway program out across the country. In March 2012, Healthy Highway received national recognition and was featured as a as a “How Cool is That?” organization on Rachael Ray’s Yum-O website and in the Yum-O Newsletter. The “The How Cool Is That? recognition is dedicated to people and organizations who are making an effort to improve the way children eat.
Healthy Highway: Achieving the Goal
Throughout her career, Wendy’s goal has always been to help children and families understand that it can be fun to make healthy choices.and to ensure healthy lifestyles. Healthy Highway is a testament to achieving that goal. She also enjoys bike riding, hiking, traveling and spending time with her two daughters.
A recognized health and physical education expert, Wendy is well known in the community as the President and Founder of Healthy Highway, an innovative curriculum-based K-5 program that enriches children’s lives through teaching and encouraging health, fitness and nutrition.
2015 Special Olympics Healthy Communities Partner of Excellence Award
2015 Greece Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Health Award
2012 New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Amazing Person Award
Pictured above: Healthy Highway Founder, Wendy Cooper with daughters Brianna and Brittany. (left to right): Brianna Cooper, Wendy Cooper and Brittany Cooper
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