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School garden gives Sedalia family a “boost” to health

Mom loses more than 100 lbs. after changing diet

SEDALIA – A mother at Sedalia Elementary says the school’s garden is behind a remarkable turnaround in her health.

Last summer, Jannessa and her family volunteered to help keep Sedalia’s garden growing over the summer. While she and her girls, Bryanna and Aryanna, enjoyed the garden work, it was tasting the fruits of their labor that changed her life.

“The taste is completely different. Completely!” Jannessa said. ““It doesn’t taste like the corn you buy at the supermarket. The corn was amazing and my girls were crazy about the little potatoes.”

Jannessa says her girls couldn’t stop talking about the creaminess of the potatoes and the flavor of the other vegetables that they would buy from the school’s garden.

At a dollar a pound, the family would stock up on these tasty treats.

“I would give them whatever I had and ask the teachers to give me whatever they can,” Jannessa said with a laugh. “Once we started doing that, my entire way of cooking and doing everything changed. It really opened my eyes.”

Problems with her thyroid and hormones had caused her to gain weight and before the garden, she was teetering on the edge of becoming a diabetic.

“I couldn’t sit on the floor with my kids in the gym during an assembly. I couldn’t get down and then I couldn’t get back up. Now being able to sit there with them and having them sit on me,” Jannessa said.

She finally addressed those issues and with a new focus on eating healthy, she got more active and started to lose weight.

“So far, I’ve lost 103 pounds,” Jannessa said proudly. “Having my daughter put her arms completely around me, that has been a big wow.”

She says the garden has given her the opportunity to teach her kids about being healthy.

“It has been a very big life changer,” Jannessa said.


Learn more about DCSD’s Sustainability efforts, including how to start a school garden at

April 28, 2015 | By rmbarber | Category: Sustainability

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.