It’s important for educators to prioritize their mental and physical wellness, which is something Irving ISD leadership recognizes. Due to this, Superintendent Magda Hernandez made it a priority to invest in the wellness of Irving ISD employees through the development of the Employee Wellness Services (EWS) department. 

At the start of the new year, all Irving ISD employees were provided new fitness opportunities through Camp Gladiator and SunstoneFIT, free of charge thanks to Irving ISD and EWS. Bowie Middle School teacher Chanice Porter is one of many employees who have taken advantage of these opportunities.

“I was really excited about the new wellness opportunities,” says Porter. “I feel it’s necessary at this time for us (educators) to have an outlet.” 

Porter participates in Camp Gladiator, which gives participants a chance to work out in-person in a group setting or virtually at home. She has opted to attend the in-person sessions which are offered at various Irving ISD campuses. Classes are offered before and after school, giving employees flexibility. Working out in a group setting with colleagues is something Porter says motivates her.

“Working out with my coworkers gives me a sense of accountability, and to have them there to cheer me on gives me motivation,” she says.

Deciding to make this lifestyle change was very personal to Porter. Not only does she have personal fitness goals, but more importantly she says she wants to be her best self for her family. This made the decision to join Camp Gladiator easy. In just one month, Porter has already seen a positive change. 

“I feel more energized, and my endurance during the workouts has improved,” she adds. 

Porter is currently under the guidance of Camp Gladiator Coach Martin Banda, who she describes as awesome. When asked about this opportunity, Banda says it’s been a positive experience for both sides. 

“Campers get a sense of community, and we’re proud to be on their fitness journey,” he says. “The Irving ISD community has been great.”

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about these wellness opportunities, visit the Employee Wellness Services website or call 972.600.5217.