Jeremy Sherron is a humble guy. But he isn’t shy when it comes to touting one of his favorite personality traits.
By Jessica Bizik
Photography by Chris Crews
“I can make anybody smile,” says the New York University grad, with a degree in healthcare administration. “No matter bad your week is going, if I show up, you’re gonna smile!”
That’s a skill that comes in handy when, say, trying to get a biology teacher to do burpees at the end of a grueling school day.
Jeremy recently launched TeacherFIT, a free community initiative that brings exercise and stress-management coaching directly to educators in three local charter schools—with the hope of adding more. “Our goal is to be in every public school in Baltimore. We won’t stop until all our teachers are living their healthiest lives.”
TeacherFIT is an offshoot of Jeremy’s work as founder and managing director of Everest Wellness Corporation (everestwellnesscorp.com), which specializes in custom wellness programs for companies with a high percentage of “frontline” workers, such as call centers, warehouses, factories, hotels and restaurant groups.
It’s a niche he decided to scratch after traveling across the country to work for major corporations, where he discovered a dirty little secret: “Many corporate wellness programs only benefit the top tier of employees, like managers, directors, C-suite executives,” he says. “The frontline workers are often ignored or face too many barriers to participate.”
Jeremy’s specialty is seeing the big picture—how companies can offer inclusive wellness programs that serve their entire employee base, while considering the unique needs of administrative, custodial, and other hourly workers. Things like: Do they sit or stand all day? Will their managers support them? Is English their primary language? (He’s even gone so far as to hire a trainer who speaks TK to serve employees at a WHAT COMPANY in CITY, STATE..)
Jeremy understands these employees, because he used to be one. He started his career as a line worker in a hospital, where he and his colleagues experienced low morale and were often treated with a lack of respect.
“I had a lot of ambition, so I worked my way up and out,” he says. “But many of my coworkers lived in a perpetual state of mental apathy. They were basically like: ‘I’m just going to keep working here until I die.’”
That’s not so different from how many teachers feel. In a 2016 study by the Center on Education Policy, nearly half of teachers agreed with this statement: “The stress and disappointments involved in teaching at this school aren’t really worth it.” (Between 30 and 40 percent of teachers actually leave the profession by their fifth year.)
“There is a real need to recognize, uplift and empower these people,” says Jeremy, a church minister’s son, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. (He now lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his wife and two small children.) “I feel like teachers just give and give and give. Shouldn’t we be giving them something back?”
Jeremy’s team goes into each school once a week, offering GROUP FITNESS CLASSES, MEDITATION WORKSHOPS, AND INDIVIDUALIZED COACHING. At the beginning of the program, some teachers
looked like they could barely pick themselves up. (“I could see the life being sucked right out of them,” he says.) While it’s a bit early to quantify the impact of the pilot, there has been a noticeable difference in the participants’ attitudes and energy levels.
“Now they look forward to us coming. They’re being consistent and developing healthier habits. They’re more excited about life,” Jeremy says. In other words, TeacherFIT isn’t about getting six-pack-abs. “At the end of the day, this is a platform to offer individuals hope.”