From the Superintendent's Office
Good Health is Up to YOU, Says Dr. Oz
On Election Day, while the Syosset Schools were closed for students, our faculty and staff met together for a Superintendent’s Conference Day of staff development workshops. All 1,100 people were invited to meet for breakfast at the High School and then attend a presentation given by our keynote speaker, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
For those of you who haven’t read any of his best-sellers, such as You: The Owner’s Manual, You: On a Diet, or his most recent book, You: Staying Young, or have never seen him on The Oprah Winfrey Show or read his column in The Reader’s Digest, Dr. Oz is a cardiac surgeon with Columbia Presbyterian who has made one of his missions in life teaching people how to live longer, better, and healthier. He has established an in-school education program, The Health Corps, and Syosset High School is a member school. The Health Corps brings young health professionals into schools to help students adapt and revise their lifestyles to improve their overall health and nutrition throughout their lives.
Dr. Oz delivered his message to the 1,100 adult members of the Syosset School community with humor and hard, indisputable facts. With the graphic visual aids of actual human organs that had been damaged by disease caused by poor nutrition, smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure, Dr. Oz showed us what we are unwittingly doing to the organs that keep us alive. Fortunately, he told us, we know exactly what we need to do to prevent this organ disease and it is simply up to us to make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle.
Aging, he says, does not have to result in a devastating loss of bone mass, strength, and abilities. It does, however, take the commitment to eating well and to making exercise part of our daily routine.
When we plan Superintendent’s Conferences, generally, a full year in advance, we give special attention to who will give the keynote address. Our goal is to bring someone who will educate, motivate, inspire, and certainly generate a lot of thinking and discussion among our staff members, in large part to thank them for all that they do each day. In the past we’ve had talks by philosophers, entrepreneurs, psychologists, and some fascinating motivational speakers. But Dr. Oz seemed to make the most compelling impression. Perhaps the reason he reaches us so well is the same reason that his books all begin with the word, “you.” When he speaks to 1,100 people he is truly speaking to each individual, and every individual listening knows that if they want to prolong their lives by improving their health then they must take personal responsibility for that.
By reaching out to schools, both by his Health Corps and by speaking directly to our teachers, Dr. Oz is helping us to reach multiple generations. In Syosset, our students will share what they learn with their parents and younger siblings and our teachers and staff members will make changes in their own homes, and we believe that together, families will learn to be more proactive in managing their health.#