CCSD Honors its First Ever CCSD School Nurse of the Year
Celebrating the presentation of the first-ever Cherokee County School District School Nurse of the Year award are, from left to right, CCSD Chief Operations Officer Dr. Debra Murdock; CCSD School Nurse of the Year Nadia Jones of Oak Grove Elementary School STEAM Academy; Oak Grove ES STEAM Academy Principal Penny Valle; Cherokee County School Board Chair Kyla Cromer; Janet Read Welch, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta community development officer; and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower.
The Cherokee County School District celebrated back-to-school for its school nurses with the presentation of the first-ever CCSD School Nurse of the Year Award!
The new awards program was developed in the spring with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a CCSD Partner. On National School Nurse Appreciation Day in May, a top school nurse was selected from each Innovation Zone (a high school and its feeder schools) and surprised with award presentations. The Zone winners advanced to the CCSD School Nurse of the Year Award judging, with the winner selected by a panel of nursing professionals and retired educators.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and School Board Chair Kyla Cromer today presented the inaugural CCSD School Nurse of the Year award to Oak Grove Elementary School STEAM Academy School Nurse Nadia Jones! The presentation was made during a professional development event for school nurses held at Cherokee High School. Ms. Jones received an iPad, engraved plaque and other gifts, all sponsored by Children’s Healthcare, in honor of her recognition.
“Last school year was truly the ‘Year of the School Nurse,’ and it’s such an honor to recognize Nadia for being the best of the best school nurses,” Dr. Hightower said of the importance of the award. “Every day, our school nurses give outstanding care to students and staff. From dispensing medication to bandaging cuts and from tending to medically fragile children to providing parents with healthcare guidance, they dedicate themselves to providing professional healthcare services. We can’t thank them enough for all that they do.”
Ms. Jones is beginning her fifth year as a school nurse, with all of her service at Oak Grove, following work as a pediatric nurse for a pediatrician’s office. She earned her practical nursing diploma from Chattahoochee Technical College and is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Indiana State University, with expected completion in December.
“Nurse Nadia, as everyone affectionately calls her, is the heart of Oak Grove Elementary School,” Principal Penny Valle said. “Our students, their parents, and our staff trust her skills, sound judgment, and loving care. Everyone appreciates her expertise due to her wealth of knowledge and varied experiences.”
One parent shared the positive impact Ms. Jones had on her daughter after she underwent a medical procedure and returned to school during her recovery.
“Much more than just the needed medical attention to the situation, my daughter quickly came to look forward to her care routine as she got to spend time with Nurse Nadia,” she said. “Through those times, she has come to love having an encouraging word offered to her and kind attention given toward her, leaving her feeling as if she and her life situations are heard, cared about and supported. Nadia has come to know and understand so many children as the individuals they are and is always ready to be there to support them in any way she can.”
Ms. Jones also has made it a priority to teach healthy behaviors to students, healthcare best practices to colleagues and at-home guidance to parents.
“I strive to be a nurse leader, and I believe that I make a positive impact on my school and in my community,” she said. “I believe that each member of my community deserves the opportunity to learn how to keep their children safe and healthy.”
Janet Read Welch, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta community development officer, spoke at today’s event, where she treated all of CCSD’s school nurses to Chick-fil-A breakfast and presented them with T-shirts. Children’s Healthcare also will sponsor a professional development speaker at another event for school nurses as part of the new partnership agreement with CCSD.
The other Zone winners, who each received a gift card and an honor banner during the presentation in the spring, are: for the Cherokee Zone, Charlene Dalfonso of Liberty ES; Creekview Zone, Susan Grant of Macedonia ES; River Ridge Zone, Annette Fountain of Little River ES; Sequoyah Zone, Erin Krantz of Sequoyah HS; Woodstock Zone, Amy Hagan of Carmel ES.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulates CCSD School Nurse of the Year Nadia Jones of Oak Grove Elementary School STEAM Academy.
Janet Read Welch, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta community development officer, gives remarks as part of the Cherokee County School District’s School Nurse of the Year award presentation, as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower looks on.