Lamoille North Modified USD
Michele Aumand’s commitment to helping all Lamoille North Supervisory Union employees prosper as they travel on their wellness journeys is rock-solid. In her role as the Executive Assistant to the superintendent and as the SU’s VEHI PATH Wellness Champion, Aumand has taken it upon herself to ensure the employee wellness beat goes on.
“Michele’s enthusiasm is inspiring,” said Shevonne Travers, former VEHI PATH Health Promotion Specialist. “She oversees one of the largest groups of building Wellness Leaders in the state. Though she was new as a Champion, Michele wasted no time in applying for consideration as a Healthy SU. In doing so, she has brought additional technical assistance and funding for employee health-related projects to the Supervisory Union.”
“Over time I’ve grown into the position,” Aumand said when we visited her at the central office. “When I started, I knew I had to devote time to engage all our building Wellness Leaders and gain their trust. I attended one of VEHI PATH’s June Institutes with team members and was smitten. There was so much potential programming and networking available. It totally helped me build my own confidence specific to promoting employee well-being.”
“After this event, I wanted to create something similar for all our employees to encourage them to broaden their vision of wellness. And because I already had a background in designing large-scale professional development events, I knew it was possible if I could convince our administrators and staff to get on board,” Aumand said. “After checking with the curriculum director, I proposed offering one SU-wide professional development day dedicated to employee well-being. I want our employees to recognize that they do not have to be athletes to be well and I want them to have as much information as possible.”
“We surveyed the staff to see whether they would support the idea and overwhelmingly everyone agreed,” she added. Once Aumand and members of the SU’s wellness team were given the go-ahead, they quickly put together a day chock full of activities and sessions addressing physical, emotional, financial and spiritual wellness. That was in October of 2019 and according to Aumand there was tremendous momentum afterward which the team hoped to build upon. “Unfortunately, by early spring, COVID-19 took precedence,” she said, sadly.
From mid-March through June of 2020, Aumand was the only employee working in the central office. Though she described it as being alone in a creaky old house, she was thrilled to field constant phone calls and help the Lamoille North community access resources. Aumand readily admits that the focus on employee health has been a struggle this year. “Nevertheless, I continue to promote and put out whatever I can about self-care programs and workshops to help employees feel supported,” she said.
Shari Harris, one of Aumand’s colleagues, is totally wowed by Aumand’s attitude and her ability to get people moving and sold on eating healthier foods. “Michele always has a positive attitude and takes excellent care of everyone around her, including herself,” Harris said. Aumand concurs, describing herself as obsessed with her own health which she thinks requires a level of selfishness. “I want to be able to get on the ground and play with my grandchildren,” she said. “If I don’t move every day, I am a mess. On the weekends I try to get outside and hike or snowshoe in the winter with friends and during the weekdays I make sure and work-out at our local gym.”
Lastly, Aumand wanted to share a bit about her family. “I have two amazing adult children; a son who is a professional snowboarder and a daughter who is a registered nurse and a nutrition consultant. They both live in NH with their partners. I have one grandchild for now and two more are on the way sometime this year,” she said as she smiled.