Heroes 2004 - 2018

Heroes 2004 - 2018
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes. -- Fred Rogers.

Every year, to mark the anniversary of the 1937 Texas School Explosion, I salute inspirational leaders who demonstrate an extraordinary sense of responsibility and commitment to the safety of children and their communities.

The Healthy Kids Hero Award was created as an annual opportunity to remember the 1937 tragedy — a gas explosion that killed more than 300 people, mostly students, in their new state-of-the-art public school where no expense had been spared except when it came to safety.

2018 Heroes Speaking Up for Safety

Safeguarding Children and Communities, Curt Nordgaard is one of the founders of the Massachusetts Health Professionals for Clean Energy.​ Read Dr. Nordgaard’s story here.
IPM is a Team Effort, Kathy Murray is the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Read Kathy Murray’s story here.

To Make Every Child Feel Safe Every Day John Obremski is the Principal of Lafayette Elementary School, Everett, MA.​ Meet John Obremski here.

2017 Audrey Schulman, Cambridge MA, Every Town Needs A Squeaky Leak Project

Jane Winn 

Brooke Leifer

2014 Heroes
Foxborough Regional Charter School, Dr. Mark Logan, Executive Director, Foxborough, MA
Mike Matley, Custodian,Westborough Public Library, Westborough, MA

Roger Young, Roger Young and Associates, Andover, MA

2008 Inspiring Nominees Dr. Jack Gerlovich and Barbara Lee Foster


HEROES understand that when it comes to making decisions that impact children, "no risk is acceptable if it is avoidable."  

HEROES are committed to building schools for occupancy by children recognizing that standards, building codes, and guidelines that are based on the average adult male or workplace regulations are not safe for children because children are not little adults.

HEROES serve as a resource and mentor to the school community, setting up in-house systems for community participation, health surveillance, and ongoing hazard identification and control.
HEROES support the rights of parents to be involved in the decisions that affect their children, acknowledging that without informed parents, there will never be enough experts or inspectors to ensure schools are the healthy places and safe havens they are supposed to be. 

HEROES educate community members, preparing them to exercise their special rights as parents, employees, patients, students and citizens.  

HEROES advocate for precautionary standards and protective measures as active members of building committees, school health advisory councils, site-based management boards, and environmental quality teams that set child safety standards and guidelines for school design, renovation, operations and maintenance, pest-proofing, lab safety, and all activities in and around the school.
Yes, it is painful to threaten the illusion of safety in a school or community and to talk about death and loss. The New London School Explosion survivors did not talk about their painful experiences for more than forty years. Their stories clearly teach us that it is even more painful to live with a tragedy when opportunities to prevent loss were unseen or overlooked.