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Local principal encourages teachers to get active for their mental wellness

Local principal says get active for mental health
Posted at 5:42 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 19:37:37-04

As we are stuck inside and glued to a computer most of our days, one local principal has a simple wellness challenge that anyone can do.

Hamlin Middle School Principal Prudence Farrell has had a few ups and downs in life; she recently became a breast-cancer survivor.

"I spent majority, or a lot, of last school year going through chemo therapy treatments," she said. "And then I had surgery -- reconstruction -- done. And then literally, after my final surgery, it was the day before Spring Break, we never came back to school."

Farrell said while in the hospital she tried to keep herself moving, but once COVID-19 forced many people to work from home, she felt herself get off track.

"I just got into this rut of being at home and just sitting around," she said. "And then I noticed -- I'm not surrounding myself with people that are moving."

In an effort to stay motivated, Farrell took to Facebook to encourage others, especially her teachers, to stay active.

"We're not doing this to lose weight, we're really doing this for mental health and to get moving," she said. "And I said 'Do whatever you need to do.' "

Farrell's challenge to her teachers was to be active a minimum of 90 minutes a week.

"This is the first year for every teacher, no matter if they're in their 30th year teaching -- this is like the first year, and so it's challenging," she said.

She said that, not only does the school need them, but so do the students and parents. Moving to a virtual-learning experience has been difficult for many teachers, and Farrell believes staying active can relieve some mental stress.

"I just want them to share the message, because if they share it, we can continue to spread this (wellness message)," she said. "And so I just want them to step away and know that they're worth it."