Healthy School Champions Recognition

Healthy School Champions logo

Every year, the Healthy School Champions Recognition program recognizes K12 Colorado public schools for their success at creating a healthy school environment, implementing effective school health efforts and demonstrating how they comprehensively address health and wellness while embedding it in their culture and systems. CEI singles out schools that have excelled at creating health and wellness programs that support student learning.

The program is now in its eighth year and has awarded more than $300,000 in awards to Colorado schools who continue to demonstrate the critical link between student health and academic achievement. With the support of The Colorado Health Foundation, schools have received awards ranging from $300 to $7,500 per school. In 2017, Manitou Springs School District 14 was recognized with the annual Governor’s Award for School Health and Wellness for embedding health as a core component of their mission, vision, policies and instructional model.

Award Amounts

Platinum Governor’s Award $7,500 1 Winner
Gold Award $5,000 2 Winners
Silver Award $2,500 3 Winners
Bronze Award $1,000 4 Winners
Excellence Award $   500 20 Winners
Promising School Award $   300 10 Winners


K12 Colorado public school and districts* are eligible to apply for the Healthy School Champions Recognition program. Schools and districts that demonstrate how they comprehensively address health and wellness and embed it in their culture are typically recognized as Champions.

Your school must complete and submit the Smart Source assessment in the 2017-2018 administration by the deadline of January 19, 2018. *If you wish to apply for HSC as a district, you must meet the additional criteria below:

  • 6,000 or fewer students in your district
  • 12 or fewer school buildings in your district
  • Approximately 80% of all school buildings participate in district-led health and wellness efforts and have completed Smart Source

Schools within small districts may choose to apply separately. Districts that meet all of the criteria outlined above, where wellness efforts are consistent across buildings and/or school levels, are highly encouraged to apply as a district. There are no additional scoring considerations based on a district making the choice to apply together.


The Healthy School Champions application is open October 31, 2017- February 23, 2018.

To apply for a Healthy School Champions award, you must do the following:

  1. Complete the Healthy School Champions checklist. This required step is new in 2017-18.
  2. Your K12 school (or approximately 80% of schools in your district) must have completed and submitted the Smart Source assessment in the 2017-2018 administration. The 2017-18 Smart Source administration closes January 19, 2018.*
  3. Complete the Healthy School Champions application. We suggest downloading the application, crafting, and saving your answers to your computer on this Word version. Schools and districts should utilize their immediate Smart Source report. Download the application here.
  4. Obtain three letters of support, from your choice of the following: administrator, student, parent, teacher, and community member.
  5. Submit your complete application materials here.*

*Application materials are due no later than 11:59 PM on Friday February 23, 2018. Please note that you must complete the Smart Source assessment by January 19, 2018 to be eligible to apply for Healthy School Champions. The time between 1/19/2018 and 2/23/2018 can be used to complete your Healthy School Champions application and should utilize your Smart Source data.

  • Schools and districts will be notified mid-March 2018 if they move on in the process.
  • The top 15 finalists will be notified for phone interviews mid-March through mid-April 2018.
  • The winning schools will be recognized June 7-8, 2018 at the Healthy Schools Leadership Retreat in Keystone, CO.

Please contact us for additional information about the Healthy Schools Champions recognition program and the application process.

Katie Terrazas Hoover

Amy Dyett

“We empower our teachers to make a measurable cultural shift and impact the lives of their students and themselves by implementing health and wellness efforts. We know that if we let them innovate and create, great things happen.”
Ed Longfield, superintendent
Manitou Springs School District 14
“This award represents a collective and steadfast commitment to educating the whole student. During a time where many narrowed the focus of education, we embraced our communities’ values and expanded efforts to develop healthy and productive children.”
Chris Hinger, principal
Pagosa Springs Middle School

See the 2017
Healthy School Champions

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