Canton High School Wellness, Health & PE National Spotlight

A student listens as a teacher talks about social emotional learning during a yoga lesson in physical education class.

Canton High School has made it a mission to provide every student with fitness, health, and wellness education throughout the school day. 


Take an inside look at how Canton makes fitness and wellness a priority before, during, and after school. 

Canton High School Wellness Video Spotlight

What does Canton High School Wellness Mean? 


Wellness is a lot of things for a lot of people. And wellness traverses a lot of different areas of people’s lives.And it’s so important to acknowledge that it looks, feels, sounds, and interacts differently for all of us.


I’m Adam Hughes. I’m a physical education and health teacher and head strength and conditioning coach at Canton High School. 


Within all of our high school classes, I mean, we really want our students to come through

and have a holistic experience that allows them to develop the skills that they can use beyond the walls of our class. If a student comes into our class, in ninth grade and learns the value of being resilient. Or learns the value of effective communication with someone else.

Or learns how to collaborate with someone else through the tasks that we have them do.

Well, that’s gonna carry over for them. That’s going to transition for them.


No different than in our sophomore classes where we have our kids working on

fitness and nutrition through platform. Those are transferable life skills that they can use beyond the walls of class.And it’s teaching them high quality technique form progressions

and really teaching them how to find the fit that works best for them. And challenges them in a way that allows them to continue to grow as a person.

A Commitment To Wellness From All Students 


It’s not just about, hey, let’s come work out and lift a bunch of heavy weights.

It’s let’s find what fits you the best so that you can continue to use this and feel really confident and comfortable using it outside of this class. And it’s really awesome to be able to watch them come in and have no idea what they’re doing at first. But as they invest and as they truly commit to making themselves better they really do see the progression. They see the success.


And then that light bulb clicks and goes off. And when that light bulb goes off, it’s like this aha moment for them that helps them realize what they truly are capable of.


And I think that’s probably one of the biggest things that students oftentimes don’t understand is that they are capable of so much if they’ll just commit to doing it and commit to going all in on the process that helps them get there.


Making it something that they love doing. That they have fun doing. And that’s what it has to be. It has to be something that they enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy doing something, you’re not gonna continue to do it.


Teacher Role In Wellness Mission 


And that’s where my role comes in is to create an environment where kids feel welcome,

where they feel safe, and where they feel like they can thrive and excel and do great things.

And then that it’s going to carry over into the realm of life that they wanted to carry over into. Whether if it’s in their own personal well-being, or whether if it’s in sports. 


It provides a sense of overall belonging for all of our athletes, all of our students, here in the building. When they see all of their classmates and all of their sports teams buying into the environment and buying into the mindset that we foster of, being physically in shape, being physically ready and prepared. Investing in lifelong practice that helps to improve our overall well-being.


Comprehensive Approach To Canton Wellness 


When our students see that it transcends all their environments from physical education

and wellness class, all the way through sports. And when they see not just one particular set group buying into working out but they see that it’s comprehensive and that it’s acceptable and that it’s a normfor the students here in our building togo and work out and to be in shape

and to feel confident and comfortable in that room knowing that it’s bigger than just going to do a workout.


And I think for the longest time education was in a place where itwas the teacher does a lot of the talking. And then the students do the work just for the sake of doing the work.

To essentially like check a box. Rather than it was doing the work because it was something they were excited about.


And what I’ve seen just through my angle of fitness nutrition, health, wellness is when students are given the trust and the responsibility to actually own their learning that’s when they get engaged. And that’s when they get excited. Because they know that it’s on their terms

and they know that it’s within their own ability. And not what someone is asking them to do something that maybe they don’t feel comfortable doing or confident doing.


Student Centered Learning at Canton High School 

They know that when the teacher checks-in with them or when I check-in with them, it’s not in a way to always correct them, but just support them and to give them a little bit of encouragement or give them a little bit of advice if they needed and allow them to grow and feel that growth. Whether it’s small growth in like one exercise or one area or if it’s something that happens in a bigger scale. It’s when students feel like they have the freedom, the trust, and the ownership of their learning that they really do get engaged in.


And when you keep students at the forefront of it and you’re showing the impact of how it’s impacting them overall, not just one particular component of, yeah,

they’re going and they’re working out. so that they’re in better shape. Well, it’s more than that. And when it becomes more than that, that only branches and and reaches out even further and allows more people to see and know, ‘hey, this is what’s really impacting our students in a positive way.’


Everyday In Action At CHS 


And I think that that’s only allowed us as a department to better serve our students every day.

While we’re showcasing, like, certain areas of what we do from fitness classes to health classes to sports environments before and after school…This is what we do every day. And this is the way that our students learn every day. This is not something that is, you know,in any way, just shaped for the camera.


It’s something that we truly invest in and we have gone all in on in every arena

because it’s something we believe in and something that our school district,

our school, our wellness department we believe in and we believe in the ability and the opportunity to, like, really do this on a daily basis and what the outcome can actually be for our students. 


Adam’s In Class Message


“Allow yourself to develop the lifelong quality habits that allow you to stay in great physical condition and better your own health.


So maybe there’s strength training. Maybe it’s stretching. Maybe it’s mobility. 

Maybe it’s yoga. Maybe it’s mindfulness. Maybe it’s just intro to fitness where you don’t need equipment. Find the fit that works best for you. 

Download the Canton High School Case Study

This case study comes fully-loaded with pictures and videos from inside Canton, student and teacher testimonials, and so much more.  

Canton High School Wellness Photo Album 


Check out the full album of photos from the Canton High School Wellness National Spotlight. 


There is no question that this is a true snapshot of wellness in action! 


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