Health and wellness isn't just for students, it's for teachers and staff too

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POSTED: Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 5:10pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 8, 2013 - 10:05am

Promoting health and wellness for students is a top priority for most school districts, but in the La Joya Independent School District that focus is being broadened.

"But what about the adults, the teachers! We have to be healthy so we can do a better job with our students and so we can be happy," said Marissa Saenz, La Joya ISD Teacher.

So the school district remodeled an old building, turning part of it into the Nellie Schunior Gymnasium. It's a place solely for teachers, faculty and staff of La Joya ISD.

 "I had to take advantage of it," said Saenz. "I live two minutes away, I don't have to spend gas, and that it is free."

Unlike privately owned gyms, there is no cost or membership fee for school district employees. Staff can work out from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

 "We are targeting our staff, faculty and staff as of now and our community. We are opening our tracks in our middle schools around the community," said Blanca Cantu, La Joya ISD PR officer.

After the Valley was ranked as one of the fattest areas in the country, La Joya ISD took it on as their mission to help change that statistic.

And people are already seeing results on the inside and out.

"I have diabetes, and the doctor kept telling me the best thing to do was exercise," said Saenz.

And now after starting to work out, Saenz is seeing a change in her insulin regimen.

"By May the doctor did tell me that by May, if I keep it up, that I can be, not need to do my insulin anymore," said Saenz.

Side by side with her co-workers, Saenz is well on her way to a healthier, diabetes free life.

For questions on the wellness center and use of the tracks, please call the La Joya ISD Athletic Office at 956-580-5465.

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