Employee of the Week: Susan Berry

Maine DOE Health Education and Health Promotion Coordinator Susan Berry is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Susan in this brief question and answer:

What are your roles with DOE?

I provide statewide leadership and guidance in school health education and healthy school environment policies, best practices, programs, and professional development to school districts, health education teachers, physical education teachers when needed, and other school personnel who address health related issues. This includes technical assistance in the design, development and delivery of quality comprehensive school health education curriculum, instruction and assessment for PreK through diploma.

I provide leadership, professional development, and technical assistance to school districts on schoolsite health promotion and wellness for staff and students to develop, support and/or enhance healthier lifestyles and learning environments.

I provide Maine schools, administrators, school board members, educators, staff, and communities with guidance, technical assistance, information and resources on school health and health education related laws and policies that assist in the prevention of unhealthy and risky behaviors and promotes health enhancing practices.

I coordinate and collaborate with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other state and non-governmental organizations to support local school districts in implementing health promoting policies, programs and best practices including, but not limited to staff and student wellness; prevention of and education around suicide, substance use and tobacco, child sexual abuse and physical activity, nutrition, and obesity/overweight

I provide leadership and knowledge on school and student health, and health education related topics to inform the legislative process and implement new laws including

What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy delivering professional development to teachers and school personnel that expands best practices in health education, health promotion and prevention of risky behaviors among children, adolescents, and school personnel. I like developing and assisting in the implementation of laws, policies, and programs that protect and enhance health, reduce risky behaviors, and promote healthy practices.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I chose to work in health education because as a young adult I observed people engaging is risky behaviors and learned that prevention through health education knowledge and skill development can enhance and/or save lives.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

I enjoy sewing, building flower gardens, playing with my grandchildren, and I’m looking forward to enjoying my new camper with my husband and adult children!