GHS Welcomes New Wellness Center

Mrs. Stafford and Ms. Astor are ready to begin Wellness Workshops

Nicole Duarte, Staff Writer

Glendale High School’s new Glen Wellness Center, located in Room 6105, is now fully opened for the use of our students and staff members. This center was arranged by our wellness coordinator and restorative practices coach, Mrs. Electra Stafford, with the ongoing support of Nitro Way coach and special education teacher, Ms. Betsy Astor. Both of these educators have been collaborating for a long time on this project, and they will continue to work together in order to manage the center. Additionally, the center was conceived by Mrs. Stafford, Counselor Gonzales and Ms. Astor together, who brought their ideas to GHS principal, Dr. Benjamin Wolf.

The GHS Wellness Center was first proposed by Mrs. Stafford. “I really think it came out of her work with Counselor [Mayra] Gonzalez and Restorative Practices,” Ms. Astor explained. 

“In GUSD, wellness has become a priority, and we’re so glad, because that’s been something that our community has needed for quite some time,” expressed Mrs. Stafford. She added that regular meetings are held with other high school coordinators, so that they can share ideas and improve on their own centers.

Our Wellness Center took over six months to create, but many members of the GHS community, including the students from advanced art, cosmetology, cinematography, and construction, are actively participating to make the center a success. 

“That’s been part of the Wellness Center’s focus, as we launch it–to bring the many talents of our diverse community and let their voices really shine,” Mrs. Stafford asserted. The center is open for everyone to drop in, which includes the teachers and staff members, who can utilize the space to decompress when a break is needed.

“The Wellness Center was a natural process developed out of how we want to work with students and how we want to build community,” Mrs. Astor stated. “I think students weren’t asking for this, but they were asking for connection.” 

According to Mrs. Stafford, an important part of the center is how it “offers restorative practices, which is a wonderful way to build community and help students work through conflict in a productive way that honors everyone’s voice.” Another unique aspect of the center are the Wellness Workshops, that mainly focus on yoga, meditation, and qigong

The new Wellness Center was once a regular classroom, but it was decorated based on Mrs. Stafford’s vision. She created different stations, such as the coloring table and tent, to offer a variety of ways to relax. In preparing to manage the center, Mrs. Stafford has earned certifications in yoga, meditation, and social-emotional learning, while Ms. Astor has a certification in qigong

The Wellness Center is open during snack and lunch, but it has a schedule for visits where either Mrs. Stafford or Ms. Astor will be teaching the workshops. “We don’t plan what we’re going to do,” Mrs. Stafford confirmed. “If kids come, that would be great, but we’re going to do it anyway and offer it to the entire community.”

The Glen Wellness Center will continue to welcome visitors and encourage others to take a mindful minute or two in order to clear their heads. There will be ongoing changes in the center, such as the creation of a beautiful mural, the inclusion of one or more service dogs, and the building of three new gardens. These will include a wellness garden outside of the center, an art space garden in the Art Quad, and a life-skills garden, which will be funded by a $15,000 grant awarded to the GHS Gardening Club

All students and staff members are welcome to visit the center at any time, and for more details on the Glen Wellness Center, follow them on Instagram: @theglenwellness. If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Stafford at [email protected], Counselor Gonzalez at [email protected], or Ms. Astor at [email protected].

Stay mindful, Nitros!