HealthierUS School Challenge Bronze Award


Four Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools received national recognition for supporting the health of children and communities in September, 2012. As part of their efforts in the federal HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC), the districts feature healthy items on their school menus and emphasize physical education and activity. KBPSD is one of the first two school districts in Alaska to achieve this award.

Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science, Paul Banks Elementary, Seward Elementary, and Soldotna Elementary were celebrated at a HUSSC Awards Assembly with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in San Francisco, California, the USDA State of Alaska Child Nutrition Services team, and KPBSD Student Nutrition Services on September 20, 2012, at Soldotna Elementary School.


Upon learning of the national award, Dean Hamburg, administrator of KPBSD Student Nutrition Services said, “Since 1946, the USDA has supported success in school meal programs. As a longtime leader in support of appropriate nutrition for student success in American classrooms, the USDA developed the criteria and award program that is the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC). The KPBSD community can be proud and pleased that these four schools are among the first in Alaska to meet the award winning criteria for appropriate nutrition in school meals, physical education, and nutrition education. In the spring of 2012, the SNS office worked with nutritional analysis of menus and documentation of good nutrition and physical education efforts in these four schools. This is a significant achievement in Alaska nutrition history for the students we serve.” 


Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science

“We are honored to receive this award as a school. It is an honor to be recognized for the commitment we share with our students, staff, families, and community to lead active, healthy lives. We commend our students for making healthy choices with their nutrition and exercise and appreciate being recognized for our continual efforts to grow responsible citizens.” – Robin Dahlman, principal 


Paul Banks

“Paul Banks Elementary School is pleased to receive the Bronze Award from the USDA Healthier US Schools Challenge. The parents, staff and students at Paul Banks have worked together to educate and encourage students to make healthier food choices and to become more physically active. We are now seeing those efforts make a difference. We are seeing students participating in more physical activities and choosing more fruits and vegetables during meals and for snacks. We are excited to see our students making healthier choices and appreciate being recognized for these efforts and the success we see in action.” – Benny Abraham, principal 


Seward Elementary

“Seward Elementary is proud to be recognized by the USDA Healthy Challenge Award program for our nutrition and physical education programs. Our healthy snack program, which brings fresh fruit and vegetables into every classroom, has been well received by students and teachers. Our physical education program, which includes P.E., recess, and intramurals offers students many ways to stay active every day.” – David Kingsland, principal


Soldotna Elementary

“It is important to recognize the support of our incredible physical education teacher Lisa Juliussen, and our outstanding kitchen staff, Theresa Grilley, Gerri Habighorst, and Toni Cook for all they do to promote a healthy lifestyle. In addition, we would thank Dean Hamburg and the entire staff of the District Student Nutrition Services department for their dedication and hard work supporting and meeting the needs of all of the students in our diverse and outstanding school district. Their creativity and initiative provides the foundation for our students to excel academically, while assuring families their children will have a healthy meal at school. Soldotna Elementary is proud to host a celebration assembly on September 20th in our gym to recognize and celebrate this achievement.” – Teri Diamond, principal


Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD superintendent said, “I am thrilled to learn that our four schools are being recognized in this way. The award speaks to our progressive stance toward student wellness and shines a light on the careful attention that these schools give to their students.”

Together with the USDA, the state of Alaska supports the HealthierUS Schools Challenge (HUSSC). HUSSC is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize schools and Residential Child Care Institutions that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. The three goals of HUSSC are: improve the quality of foods served; provide students with nutrition education; and provide students with physical education and opportunities for physical activity.

KPBSD thanks the support staff who work in student nutrition services, to educators, and to the students who learn the value of physical activity and healthy nutrition.


KPBSD Student Nutrition Services