Distinguished Award for Work on Healthy Schools Goes to MSD Pike Superintendent Young

Jump IN for Healthy Kids is delighted to announce Dr. Larry Young, Superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township (MSD Pike), as winner of the prestigious Governor & Cheri Daniels award at this year’s Indiana School Health Network Conference (ISHN). Created in 2012 to recognize Governor and Cheri Daniels’ leadership and contributions to the health of Hoosier adults and children, the award is now presented each year during the ISHN Conference to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and dedication to promoting school health wellness activities in Indiana schools. 

Dr. Young receives the Governor and Cheri Daniels award for work on healthy schools at the 2022 School Health Network Conference
Dr. Young receiving his award at the 2022 conference

Nominated for the award by Jump IN for Healthy Kids, Dr. Young has been an exemplary leader in MSD Pike’s commitment to health and its progress in establishing healthy environments, policies, and culture that benefit students, faculty, and staff in every MSD Pike school building.  Dr. Young was recently appointed MSD Pike’s Superintendent after serving many years as Assistant Superintendent of Operations.  His dedication to the wellness work that Pike schools have endeavored, with the support of Jump IN, has unwavering during multiple leadership transitions and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the integration of healthy best practices around nutrition and physical activity may have begun under a different leader, the introduction of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model began with Dr. Young.  Setting the tone for a district and school building environment which supports these concepts has led to a strong infrastructure and a consistent process.  While improvement is ongoing, success came in 2020 when Pike was the only Indiana school district to earn the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s National Healthy Schools Award at the bronze level at every school building. This award showcases the level of commitment Dr. Young has developed throughout the Pike Township school community. MSD Pike Township schools use the School Health Index and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program to assess annually each school’s implementation of best practices in many school health and wellness topics, including policies and operations, nutrition services, Smart Snacks, health and physical education, physical activity, and employee wellness. Pike schools consistently and fully implement 85% of these best practices. Pike reached the Bronze level of implementation in 2020 and has maintained that level despite the challenges brought on by COVID.  Jump IN looks to MSD Pike Township as a leading example of a district’s firm commitment to health and wellness, thanks to the work of Dr. Young. 

In Dr. Young’s 24- year professional career in the MSD of Pike Township, he has served in multiple positions:  teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of student and community services, director of elementary education, assistant Superintendent of elementary education, and his current role, superintendent. Dr. Young has a B.S. in Education from IUPUI, a M.S. in Education from Indiana Wesleyan University, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Education Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Purdue University. 

Award winner Dr. Young is joined by his wellness team in a conference breakout session moderated by Jump IN's Julie Burns
Award winner Dr. Young is joined by his wellness team in a conference breakout session moderated by Jump IN’s Julie Burns

About the School Health Network Conference

Since 2008, the Indiana School Health Network has assembled key stakeholders and experts in school health for its annual School Health Conference.  Each year, professionals from a wide variety of disciplines attend the conference, including teachers and administrators, school nurses, government program partners, outreach and enrollment specialists, and more. The 2022 theme is “Celebrating School Health Successes.” This theme is especially relevant as schools and communities continue to recover and succeed in the current COVID environment. The 2022 ISHN Conference creates opportunities to celebrate successes of individuals, students, schools, and communities across Indiana.