SAGINAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN – Amy Wassmann, Whole Child Programs Director for the Saginaw Intermediate School District (SISD), is the recipient of the Michigan Model for Health™ State Steering Committee’s 2021 Harrison Award. The Harrison Award is an annual recognition that honors individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to Michigan’s school health in education.
While working at Saginaw ISD for the past 13 years, Mrs. Wassmann has coordinated with schools and community organizations to facilitate physical and mental health supports to educate children and teens to lead safe and healthy lives. Amy earned her Master of Social Work degree at Michigan State University and has experience working with youth, families, and schools in the areas of whole child and comprehensive school health including trauma/ACEs, mental health, social-emotional learning, suicide, sexual health, substance misuse prevention, violence/bullying, and nutrition/physical activity. She also works with school districts on systems-level work around wellness policies, Sex Education Advisory Boards, whole child initiatives, evidence-based health curricula, building adult resilience, data collection, and trauma-informed practices. Prior to joining Saginaw ISD, Amy served as a mental health therapist working with adolescents involved in the juvenile justice and foster care systems.
Mrs. Wassmann stated, “I am honored to receive this award. My love and appreciation for the educators, students, and residents of Saginaw County is my motivation day in, and day out. Throughout my 13 years at Saginaw ISD, I have focused on building strong relationships. Relationships are key in so many things, but especially in creating any lasting change. This award is a symbol of the relationships built. I am but one person and could not have been successful alone."
Mrs. Wassmann’s current leading initiatives include Project Dottie, InPACT@School, and InPACT@Home. Project Dottie provides feminine supplies to all students at participating schools throughout Saginaw County, specifically to assist families that may struggle to purchase products. InPACT@School, a pilot program in Saginaw County starting in the 2021-22 school year, will assist teachers in implementing physical activity throughout the day to interrupt prolonged periods of sitting and better prepare students for learning. InPACT@Home is a program that will offer free and equitable access to in-home physical activity videos and resources for students and families.
In addition to these initiatives, Mrs. Wassmann is a representative of the Social-Emotional Learning and Children’s Mental Health Network led by State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. Further, Amy also serves on several coalitions and collaboratives in Saginaw County that address mental health, food access, and the overall health of Saginaw County residents. Heather Phelps, Saginaw ISD Director of Instructional Services, said, “Saginaw ISD and Saginaw County are fortunate to benefit from Mrs. Wassmann’s passion and unique knowledge, and talents. We are proud to have her as a member of our team.”
About the Harrison Award
The Michigan Model for Health™ State Steering Committee The Harrison Award is an annual recognition that honors individuals having made a significant and lasting contribution to school health in education in Michigan. The award began in 1988 when Dr. James T. Harrison was recognized for his distinguished service and commitment to school health. Dr. Harrison championed the first legislative appropriation in 1983 that created the concept of making available to every school; age-appropriate, sequential, skill-building comprehensive school health education through the Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education. As the Chief Medical Officer for the then Michigan Department of Public Health, he presided over the Michigan Model State Steering Committee as the first chairperson for five years.
About Saginaw Intermediate School District
Saginaw Intermediate School District (SISD) is an educational service agency that provides effective and innovative leadership, services, resources, and programs throughout Saginaw County, Michigan. Saginaw ISD serves 12 local school districts, 5 public school academies, and 22 non-public schools, with a total enrollment of approximately 27,000 students. Public school districts supported include: Birch Run Area Schools, Bridgeport-Spaulding Community School District, Carrollton Public Schools, Chesaning Union Schools, Frankenmuth School District, Freeland Community School District, Hemlock Public School District, Merrill Community Schools, Saginaw Public School District, Saginaw Township Community Schools, St. Charles Community Schools, and Swan Valley School District. Saginaw ISD provides career and technical education, early childhood, finance, human resources, instruction, pupil accounting, special education, technology, and transportation services. In addition, SISD operates multiple educational programs to meet the unique needs of students ages birth to 26 across Saginaw County, including: Hartley Outdoor Education Center, Head Start/Early Head Start and Great Start to Readiness Programs, Great Lakes Bay Early College, Saginaw County Juvenile Detention Center School, and Special Education Center Programs. Learn more about Saginaw ISD by calling (989) 399-7473 or visiting www.sisd.cc.