What’s your word for 2020? What do you need? What do you need to get rid of?

These are the questions that Jacqueline Goodburn and other administrators challenged the faculty and staff of the Burgettstown Area School District to answer as one of many activities held during their Wellness Day event.

During this Wellness Day, Goodburn, director of staff development within the district, orchestrated several events throughout the day to support wellness among the staff and faculty.

“When you make your life about people, it takes an emotional toll,” Goodburn explains.

Therefore, this event gave the staff a chance to unwind, have fun, and engage with each other in a way that they aren’t typically able to.

The day began with a keynote speaker, Lynn Carrick from Lytle EAP, who discussed stress and experiencing “burn-out” within our lives.

“We set off for the day with a goal of finding what we can add to our lives to sustain ourselves for the hard work we do,” says Goodburn.

After making their goals, the staff then dispersed to participate in their chosen activities for the day. These activities included arts, such as ceramics and watercolors, physical activities, including high-intensity training sessions and volleyball, as well as sessions relating to music.

“One of our music teachers shared the research behind how music affects our mood and how we can use music to support our well-being,” Goodburn explains.

According to Goodburn, however, one of the rather surprising hits was simply a walk around the buildings. During this activity, the nurses discussed the importance of walking one mile per day and set up paths throughout the buildings, along with maps that allowed the staff to reach their step goals.

Goodburn jokes that the staff turned this “lighter” session into something competitive, as they would excitedly inform her how any steps or laps they had done in passing.

In addition to allowing the staff to decompress and enjoy their day, Goodburn is also proud that this event gave her a chance to showcase many different members of the staff who offered their services.

“You lean into people with different talents to create a Wellness Day,” Goodburn says. “This gives your artists, physical education teachers, and others a chance to shine.”

With so much talent and help, which allowed the day to run smoothly, it was nice for those other colleagues to be acknowledged, she adds.

“Everybody’s need for something to lift their spirits was different,” she says, and notes inspiration was found in many forms during the event.

Even throughout this day of decompression and support, Goodburn explains that many staff members, including herself, still had in the backs of their minds all the work they could be doing during the time that they were participating in these activities. Goodburn finally came to the realization, however, that the work could wait.

“The to-do list never ends,” she says. “You need to take a minute to breathe. I need to be out laughing and talking with my colleagues.”

In the end, staff was grateful to have a day about them, and Goodburn says it is important administrators help take care of them.

Goodburn is always striving to do bigger and better things, and says that people often joke with her and ask if she can’t just enjoy things as they are. Her word for 2020 is “contentment.”

“I could definitely serve myself by finding contentment in the moment I’m in,” she adds.

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