Essential Skill: Health and Wellness

Dustin Meltzer '05
Kimball Union students are immersed in an academic and residential setting that values a set of nine essential skills. Together, these represent the hard and soft skills requisite for a 21st Century leader. We recently presented background on Global Awareness, Personal Growth and Development, Critical Thinking, and Communication. Last month, we explored the next essential skill, Health and Wellness.

“I’m happy to share with you all the next set of essential skills that we, as a community, would like to spend some focus on,” said Latin teacher, Ms. Alstrom, before presenting each of the sub-competencies of Health and Wellness.

Through course work, social programs, and extra-curricular activities, KUA graduates have learned to:

         · Choose healthy practices
         · Maintain physical, emotional, social, and spiritual balance
         · Navigate social influences
         · Build only positive relationships
         · Advocate for self and others

“Influence comes in many forms . . . The goal is to navigate the positive pressures and the negative pressures and amongst it, find yourself,” explained Alstrom. She continued, “Our ability to grow these essential skills in health and wellness rely heavily on our environment, as well as the general health, happiness, safety and success of our community.”

“It’s all very important,” says Frannie ’18. “KUA lays a really good foundation to know who you are, what you want, and to take that and realize that if a situation doesn’t fit, you know when to put your foot down.” When asked where she sees positive relationships in our community, Frannie answers, “Between teachers and students – I’m really close with some of them and I’m comfortable asking for help and advice while keeping boundaries. In addition to having 2 parents at home, I have twenty plus here.”

Additionally, Frannie firmly believes in the accepting nature of the KUA community, “If anyone were to say something mean or inappropriate, it would immediately be jumped on by any group, whether theatre people, sports, or any other. Everyone finds great ways to express themselves here and can find their people.” She continues, “I went on the K-term to the Dominican Republic my freshman year and we were surprised that everyone got along. There were people from all walks of life at KUA; every grade, smaller best friend groups, but by the end of the trip, none of that mattered - we were all really close. When we got back it meant extra people to say hi to in the hall and have lunch with. It’s the best time I’ve ever had on a trip.”

Frannie leaves us with a couple final thoughts on Health and Wellness; “You can’t take care of others or do well in school if you’re not taking care of your own body first. It’s important to find yourself to know anything – from where you want to go to college or who you want to date. Choose wisely.”

Thank you, Ms. Alstrom and Frannie, for your thoughtful remarks on Health and Wellness, and stay tuned for more Essential Skils.


Kimball Union Academy

603-469-2000  · 603-469-2040 (fax)  ·
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.