Citizen Spotlight: Michele & Roger Kipp

Michele and Roger Kipp

Married for 22 years; have two sons (ages 19 and 20).

Michele—This is her 5th year as principal of Lockland Elementary School. She has worked in education for 23 years.
Roger—This is his 2nd year as director of food services and nutrition for Norwood City Schools. His previous work includes 25 years in sales and restaurant management.

The Kipp’s both grew up in Colerain Township and now live in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Michele works in Lockland and Roger works in Norwood.

Interesting Fact:
Michele and Roger are Metallica fans! They have seen the band in concert 12 times since 1992. Their two sons attended the past four concerts with them, making it a family affair. 

Making a Difference with WeTHRIVE!:
Since taking over food service at Norwood, Roger has completely overhauled the district’s school nutrition environment by:

  • Removing all soda pop from vending machines.
  • Closing the popular “Snack Shack” at the high school, where kids used to buy soda, chips and snack cakes.
  • Installing salad bars (thanks to a grant by Whole Foods), which have become very popular, in the high school and middle school cafeteria.
  • Creating a “grab ‘n go” a la carte line with fresh fruit, sandwiches, wraps, healthy snacks and yogurt.
  • Eliminating all fried food and desserts.
  • Forming a Student Culinary Council that meets once per month to evaluate new food items and address issues related to recycling and nutrition.
  • Hiring a dietetic technician, registered as a cafeteria manager.
  • Passing a Competitive Foods Policy that requires all foods and beverages sold to students to meet nutrition guidelines set by the Alliance for Healthier Generation.
  • Instituting free breakfast for all students (K-12), making healthy breakfast items available every morning at a kiosk in the school’s courtyard.
Michele is a member of the Lockland WeTHRIVE! School Health Advisory Council and has been involved with the following projects:
  • Tobacco-free policy for all Lockland Schools property, inside and outdoors, as well as providing tobacco education to students.
  • Safe Routes to School program, which includes projects such as a new drop off/pick up zone that makes it safer for students to walk or bike to school.
  • A school garden where students grow fruits and vegetables.
  • School-wide policies for birthday celebrations and use of alternatives to food as a reward, limiting the amount of unhealthy food and beverages in the classroom.
  • Competitive Foods Policy that requires all foods and beverages sold to students to meet nutrition guidelines set by the Alliance for Healthier Generation.
  • Active Education policy and teacher training for incorporating 30 minutes of physical activity into the classroom every day.
  • Monthly Fitness Day rewarding students who are recognized as “Daily Champs” with activities such as extra recess time, dancing, zumba and yoga.
  • Community involvement, such as having students create posters for the WeTHRIVE! Healthy Corner Store initiative.

In Their Own Words:
Michele: “I’ve always recognized that to succeed in school, children need to be healthy in all areas of life…that’s why I wanted to bring the WeTHRIVE! principles to our students. Change is difficult, but the trick is to make people understand that in the end, it’s all for the good of the children.”
Roger: “We are both very passionate about helping kids. Others may start out with this passion, but give up when it seems too hard to get things done. We keep pushing, and we know when to push. It helps that we feed off of each other so much, sharing our knowledge and experience to help each of us accomplish our goals.”

Join Roger and Michele in making a difference with WeTHRIVE! Click here to join the movement. 

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February 26, 2015