Rippowam Cisqua School launched a school-wide wellness initiative in August, 2017. Wellness is defined as an “active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” (National Wellness Institute, n.d.) Inspired and informed by this definition and the six-dimension model of wellness proposed by the National Wellness Institute, Brooks Eleck, Iman Rasti, and Nicole Levy, RCS Wellness Co-Directors, have set out to raise awareness and build a common language around this theme for the entire community. To that end, they ran a workshop for the entire faculty and staff in August and a wellness workshop for parents in October. Our wellness team will continue with the initiative by running a series of wellness retreats on both campuses where students will participate in a variety of carefully designed activities to fully understand and experience different dimensions of wellness.
Nicole Levy is a Co-Director of the Wellness Initiative at Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford, NY. A graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, Nicole holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. She created the 2's program at St. Matthew's School in Bedford NY, has taught Pre-K and currently teaches Kindergarten. Nicole is also Barre fitness instructor at Go Figure Studios. As a mother of five, Nicole is passionate about health and wellness and is honored to be part of the RCS Wellness Initiative team.
Dr. Iman Rasti teaches humanities at Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford, New York. Prior to RCS, he worked as an English teacher, English department chair, and mindfulness coach in other K-12 schools in the USA and England. Iman earned his PhD in Applied Linguistics (2012) from the University of Liverpool, England. He has served as English Department Chair at multiple colleges and has taught at the graduate level. Iman has also published several academic articles and has presented at national and international conferences. In addition to being a classroom teacher and the Co-Director of the RCS Wellness Initiative, he is a member of RCS Creativity Cohort. Iman has been trained in the Torrance Incubation Model where he integrates high-level creative thinking into his content areas in order to enhance student engagement and intrinsic motivation.