Burlington High School
Laughter and positive vibes from students and staff encircled Gayle Bothello, a Burlington High School physical and health education instructor, as she raced up and down multiple staircases and hallways of the building nodding, smiling and posing for photographs. Now in her 13th year at the high school and one of VEHI PATH’s wellness leaders, Bothello is a wellness rock star among her peers and the student body. s a member of the coordinated school health team, Bothello strives to improve upon student and staff health. “I work hand in hand with the food service director and staff to incorporate healthier and more diverse foods in the cafeteria,” she said. According to Colby Skoglund, one of her colleagues, Bothello is vehemently invested in promoting and increasing awareness about sexuality and relationships. In her role as a health educator, Bothello has worked closely with Planned Parenthood to train student peer educators and to offer monthly discussion opportunities for students in the building. “I think it’s great to see students in a different light other than physical education,” she said. “They thrive in different settings.” Bothello used grant funds to purchase and install water bottle filtration stations in the high school and was instrumental in creating a variety of walking path maps for faculty to make use of around the campus. She also serves as the physical education equipment coordinator. “Employees are welcome to sign out walking sticks, snowshoes, Nordic skis and bicycles,” she said. Bothello performs several tasks, most of which are off people’s radar, said Skoglund. “She just does it, never looking for a pat on the back.”
Named Vermont’s PE teacher of the year in 2015, Bothello has completed half marathons in Vermont and Rhode Island, plays on a women’s basketball league twice a week and works out in the weight room with several of the faculty and staff. “Focusing on wellness allows us the opportunity to eliminate external and stressful factors,” she said.