All scheduled Zone Happenings are currently on hold until we receive the all clear from the NYSDOH to resume public gatherings.

Zone 1 Happenings

Zone 1 | Jill McCarney
Nassau County

The BOD of Zone 1 met via Zoom to celebrate School Nurses Day.  We plan on possibly rescheduling our Dinner Celebration and Induction Ceremony this fall.  We will be meeting over the summer months to develop strategies and plan events for the 2020/2021 School Year.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to any of our members who have lost a loved one to Covid-19.  Stay Strong!  Please contact Zone 1 Rep Jill McCarney if you need any information.

  Zone 1’s 2020 EISN Award Winner: Daryle Seid Abeshouse, BSN, RN, East Meadow School District

Daryl has been a school nurse for 20 years. Her positive attitude and wonderful sense of humor are two of her greatest assets. Without hesitation, she has enthusiastically stepped up and taken on the roleof Zone 1’s secretary, head of hospitality, and party planner. She has consistently contributed to our Zone 1 Board of Directors with creative ideas and boundless energy. Zone 1 is proud to nominate Daryl for the Excellence in School Nursing Award in 2020.

Zone 1 had its final meeting on March 4th, with speakers from the Juvenile Diabetes Association. Our End-of-Year Event will be a celebration of School Nurses Day, May 13th at Domenico’s restaurant in Levittown.  A brief re-cap of the year, Installation of our new Board of Directors, raffles, and of course a delicious meal.

Jill McCarney, RN
Zone 1 Representative
(516)  267-7520 (work)

Zone 2 Happenings

Zone 2 | Gerri Plechner
Suffolk County

Fall 2020:
Zone 2 will be meeting via Zoom this year, at least for now. Kathi DiStefano is our SCASN president and has set the calendar as follows: October 27, 2020, February 9, 2021, April 13, 2021, and on School Nurses’ day May 6, 2021. All Zoom meetings will begin at 4:30 PM. Dues remain at $20 for the year. If you did not receive an email from Kathi with a SCASN membership application, please contact her at: to obtain an application. We hope you will join us. It’s a great opportunity to network.

On May 6th, SCASN hosted a Zoom meeting to celebrate School Nurses Day. Our official school nurses’ dinner was postponed, and we hope to gather in person in July or August. The Zoom meeting was well attended, and we had a lot to celebrate. 

Congratulations to our new Board Members: Cathy Dolan, Connetquot School District is our new President-Elect and Pat Antico, also from Connetquot, is our Treasurer. Thank you to Sandy Poshka for her years of service to the SCASN board as treasurer. Sandy will be retiring from the Middle Country School district at the end of this school year.

Congratulations to our 2020 EISN award winner, Gerri Plechner, from Center Moriches UFSD.

On behalf of SCASN, our president sent a donation of $150 to Long Island Cares to help out our local community during this pandemic. 

We hope to have more Zoom meetings this summer to keep conversations going about how we are dealing with NY Pause/NY Forward and returning to school in the fall.

Gerri Plechner, MS Ed., BSN, RN
Zone 2 Representative

Zone 3 Happenings

Zone 3 | Patricia Hartman and Ponzella Johnson
Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Counties

Congratulations to Gail Adman, BSN, RN, MPH, Zone 3 recipient of the 2019 Excellence in School Nursing Award.

Patricia Hartman, RN
Ponzella Johnson, RN
Zone 3 Co-Representatives



Zone 4 Happenings

Zone 4 | Cynthia Scinto
Putnam and Westchester Counties

Congratulations to Mary Beirne, Zone 4 Excellence in School Nursing Award Winner.

Mary Beirne LLM, BN, RN-BC, NCSN, has gained statewide and national recognition because of her persistent, effective efforts to advocate for schoolchildren, the community and her professional colleagues.

Having served as Legislation Chair of the New York State Association of School Nurses, Mary was the driving force behind the successful NYSASN grassroots effort to defeat disastrous legislation that would have permitted non-health professional management of students with Diabetes in the school setting. She further engineered the organization’s involvement as a significant proponent of the historic RN to BSN legislation. As Advocacy Chair (NYSASN’s combination of the Legislation and Positions Chairmanships) Mary further advanced NYSASN’s prestige by identifying issues and legislation which either aligned with our Mission Statement or were in opposition to our goals. She educated the membership regarding these issues and provided essential guidance. As a member of the faculty of NYSASN’s School Nurse Orientation she positively impacted many new school nurses in New York State. Certification is something that Mary is most passionate about! She uses every opportunity to promote this professional accomplishment and has become a National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN) representative for New York. Her influence has encouraged a number of colleagues to seek this certification. She is also certified as a Pediatric Nurse by ANCC.

Mary is a powerful proponent when championing something she perceives as significant. She communicates eloquently with her colleagues throughout the country as well as those in the New York State Education Department. Whether proactively advocating for school nurses to be provided with PPE, promoting unification between NYSASN and our national organization NASN or insisting upon adherence to evidence-based practice, Mary’s is a voice that is powerful and persuasive. She has authored information that has received recognition from NASN and praise from state nursing leaders. While Mary has engaged in all of these activities, nothing distracts her from her dedicated service to the students, staff and families in her school. She is a valued resource within the larger White Plains Central School District. Above all, Mary never ceases to remind us that, “We school nurses are working to the top of our practice!” Should you ask her to explain this; you will receive a passionate response that will convince you that School Nursing requires more expertise, skill and commitment than any group in the nursing profession.

Our last meeting was November 6, 2019, prior to my assuming this position. Subsequent meetings had been scheduled but our guest speaker from Westchester County DOH twice cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. I believe we were anticipating a meeting in March when COVID-19 closed schools and put an end to public meetings and gatherings.  We had an EISN award winner, Mary Beirne LLM, BN, RN-BC, NCSN, from the German International School in White Plains, but our Nurses Week Celebration banquet and presentation of the award has been postponed until the fall.

In May we highlighted one of our zone nurses, Catherine Rodriguez MSN, RN, for her volunteer activities during the COVID lockdown and the information was shared on the NYSASN website.

We have not scheduled any future meetings yet due to the uncertainty of school openings and the questions of availability of meeting spaces for the coming fall.

New members are always welcome.  Please join us for our next meeting, yet undetermined, where you can learn new information and meet other school nurse colleagues. We look forward to seeing you! For additional information please contact Zone 4 Rep, Cynthia Scinto at

Cynthia Scinto, BSN, RN, NCSN
Zone 4 Representative

Zone 5 Happenings

Zone 5 | 
Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster Counties

Congratulations to Joanne Bardin, Zone 5 EISN Award Recipient

Joanne Bardin, in addition to being the school nurse at Poughkeepsie High School, holds a Master’s Degree and is nationally certified as a school nurse. She volunteers as an American Red Cross leader and educator. Within her district she continues to educate herself and inform the school nurses in her district of new state laws, screening guidelines, infection control policies and of school district policies and procedures. Joanne has been active in NYSASN for many years and has served as Zone 5’s representative and as an instructor at the annual School Nurse Orientation program. Currently, she holds the position of secretary for NYSASN.

Interested in being the Zone 5 Representative? Encourage networking among School Nurse colleagues in your area while developing leadership skills with the support of our NYSASN Board. For more information, please contact NYSASN President, Lou Ann Gleason, at

Zone 6 Happenings

Zone 6 | 
Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties

Interested in being the Zone 6 Representative? Encourage networking among School Nurse colleagues in your area while developing leadership skills with the support of our NYSASN Board. For more information, please contact NYSASN President, Lou Ann Gleason, at

Zone 7 Happenings

Zone 7 | Betsy Williams
Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Rensselear, and Schoharie Counties

Sherrill Becker, RN, was given Zone 7’s 2019 award for Excellence in School Nursing. This was Nurse Becker’s final year of her 31-year career as a school nurse. In Principal Robert Rhinehart’s nomination essay, he described her as “the personification of the terms ‘compassionate’, ‘joyful’ and ‘professional’.”  Sherry joined Downsville Central School in 1988 as both the school nurse and attendance officer and she has faithfully served the school community ever since. The entire school community trusts her judgement, her confidentiality and her love of all people. Sherry will be beginning a much-deserved retirement at the conclusion of this school year. She will be leaving a legacy of love and kindness that sets an example of how we should treat each other every day.”

Betsy Williams, AAS, RN
Zone 7 Representative

Zone 8 Happenings

Zone 8    
Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties


Interested in being the Zone 8 Representative? Encourage networking among School Nurse colleagues in your area while developing leadership skills with the support of our NYSASN Board. For more information, please contact NYSASN President, Lou Ann Gleason, at

Zone 9 Happenings

Zone 9 |
Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties

Interested in being the Zone 9 Representative? Encourage networking among School Nurse colleagues in your area while developing leadership skills with the support of our NYSASN Board. For more information, please contact NYSASN President, Lou Ann Gleason, at


Zone 10 Happenings

Zone 10 | Janel Kondakoff
Cayuga, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties

Hi there! This is Janel Kondakoff reporting from Zone 10. I am the interim Zone 10 Rep. Our last meeting to celebrate School Nurse Day was cancelled, as many events have been during the COVID 19 battle. We would like to take the time now to say Thank You to School Nurses!! Thank You for all you do! We will get through this.

At our last meeting, January 6, 2020, guest speaker, Damon Villnave, an Admin from Central Square, gave a passionate presentation on vaping. It was very informative. He came with props and sample paraphernalia. It is truly amazing and unfortunate the many ways kids can hide the drugs.

Our next meeting has not yet been scheduled. We remain on PAUSE until otherwise notified. At that time, and every day, we have much to be thankful for.

In the meantime many of our nurses are at school working. We ALWAYS have something that needs doing.  Many are volunteering, handing out meals during pop-up food distribution, being contact tracers, assisting with blood drives. There are several working in hospitals and outreach centers. Thank You Nurses!

New members are always welcome. Please join us for our next meeting where you can learn new information and meet other school nurse colleagues. We look forward to seeing you! Our schedule will be posted as it becomes available.

Janel Kondakoff 
Zone 10 Representative (Interim)
(315)350-4850 txt


Zone 11 Happenings

Zone 11 | Annette Cobb
Broome, Cortland, Chemung, Chenango, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties

Hello! There have been no zone meetings since the Covid-19 PAUSE. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families and friends, who lost love ones and those that recovered from Covid-19. And, to the nurses that worked, volunteered in other ways to help colleagues during the pandemic. 

The zone had to cancel our School Nurse day celebration in May. In the fall, we plan to hold our annual fall meeting and learn “Stop the Bleed” procedures. The NYSASN reopening guidelines were sent to all zone members. Our next meeting has not yet been scheduled. We remain on PAUSE until otherwise notified. Stay safe!

Annette Cobb, RN
Zone 11 Representative


Congratulations to Kim Holden, RN, NP

Zone 11 2019 Excellence in School Nursing award winner!


Southern Zone 11 retirees were honored at the School Nurses Day dinner

on May 8th at the Little Venice Restaurant in Binghamton, New York.

Pictured, L to R: Joanne Stanley, Cindy Ceracche, Diane Silvers and Debby Dvorsky

Watch the NYSASN website for upcoming Zone 11 events. For more information or suggestions of topics that you would like to have addressed, please contact the zone rep.

Annette Cobb
Zone 11 Representative


Zone 12 Happenings

Zone 12 | Diane Houseknecht and Lynn Muth  
Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates Counties

As co-reps, Lynne and I continue to reach out to our colleagues to try and increase our membership. We promote the organization’s mission and all that NYSASN offers school nurses.

Our spring meeting date and location will be announced when finalized.

Lynne has been busy with planning the Fall 2020 conference which will be held November 6-7, 2020, in Batavia, New York, at the Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel. Lynne and I are looking for any members in Zone 12 that would be interested in being on the conference committee.                                                                                                   

Respectfully submitted,
Diane Houseknecht, RN

Diane Houseknecht, RN
Lynne Muth BSN, RN
Zone 12 Co-Representatives  

Zone 13 Happenings

Zone 13 | Barbara Baer
Erie and Niagara Counties

Congratulations to Barbara Baer, Zone 13 EISN Award Recipient

Barbara Baer has been a school nurse for over 20 years and is currently the nurse at the Sweet Home High School in Amherst, New York. Barb is the lead nurse in her district and, in addition to her regular duties, she schedules all substitute and float nurses. She keeps track and orders all health supplies for the district and plans the curriculum for staff development days. In addition, she assists with all AED/ CPR certifications and sits on both the district Safety and Health & Wellness Committees. Currently, Barb is the Zone 13 representative of the NYSASN. She is also active in the Western New York Association of school nurses where she is the current membership chairperson. She is a role model and mentor to student nurses who do internships in her office. Barb is an active member of the school community with many students referring to her as Momma Baer. She continues to be active both in the school community and the greater community with her involvement fundraising for Dollars for Scholars and for Juvenile Diabetes.

News from Zone 13

As you might expect, not much is happening on the Zone front these days. The executive board has met a few times, and we have had members step up to be officers for next year. We are all anxiously awaiting the state guidance for re-opening. Our members have been encouraged to request to be part of their district’s re-opening teams as we await the criteria for “new normal.” At this time, we are planning that our first meeting in September will most likely be on Zoom, and our program chair is working on scheduling a speaker who will be comfortable with that format. 

Officers for the 2020-21 school year:

President:  Julie Murray
Vice President:  Kelly Santoro
Treasurer:  Barb Baer
Membership:  Kat Tallman
Program:  Lynne Martin
Secretary:  Rebecca Banks

Meeting dates for the 2020-21 School year, location TBD:

September 21, 2020      MONDAY
October 20, 2020           TUESDAY
November 16, 2020      MONDAY
January 19, 2021            TUESDAY
February 8, 2021             MONDAY
March 16, 2021               TUESDAY
April 19,2021                   MONDAY
May 17,2021                   End of year gathering

Barbara L. Baer, RN, BSN 
School Nurse
Sweet Home High School
NYSASN Zone 13 Rep


Here in Zone 13, we are all struggling to adapt to working from home, doing on-line meetings, missing our students and co-workers…just like everybody else! As it gets closer to the end of the school year, we are starting to face the fact that we are probably not going to see our graduates again, whether we are in elementary, intermediate, middle or high school. As we try to plan for restarting school, whenever it may be, we hope to learn from each other across the state. Stay well everybody!

Our presentation at the January meeting was “Assisting Students Who Struggle with Anxiety.” We all took away some new strategies for helping our students.

On April 21st we will have a presentation from Dr. DeLuke about airway orthodontics.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Barb Baer at

Barbara Baer, BSN, RN
Zone 13 Representative

Zone 14 Happenings

Zone 14 | Jill Kenney
Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chataqua Counties

Jennifer S. Johnson, RN, BSN, who has worked as the District RN at Silver Creek Central School District since 2014, is the Zone 14 EISN recipient for 2020.

A lifelong resident of Chautauqua County, Johnson became a registered nurse following graduation from Jamestown Community College. Since then she has held various nursing positions in the areas of geriatrics, maternal health, family planning, immunization, childhood early intervention and as American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED instructor. She also returned to school to obtain her BSN and EMT license during that time. 

Johnson also decided to pursue forensic nursing and obtained a certificate as a forensic nurse and then moved on to be the nursing supervisor at Chautauqua County Jail for the next three years. She later accepted a position at JCC as the Assistant Director of School Health Services. After joining the staff of Silver Creek CSD, Johnson was appointed as Zone 14 Representative for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Alleghany counties for NYSASN and served in that capacity for three years. Mrs. Johnson was the first school nurse in Chautauqua County to bring automated external defibrillators (AEDs) into the educational setting before the state mandated them. She also was the first to have an approved opioid overdose and anaphylaxis public access programs along with available wall-mount mass casualty response units.

“We are fortunate at Silver Creek to have such a progressive, caring and involved nursing staff,” says Todd A. Crandall, superintendent of Silver Creek schools. “In addition to the day-to-day care our nurses provide to students, all of us on staff also benefit from the nurses’ emphasis on wellness and healthy lifestyles. We couldn’t be prouder of or happier for Mrs. Johnson.”


Zone 14 (FWNYSNN) had their Fall Meeting on 11/16/19 at Moonwinks Restaurant in Cuba, New York.

The keynote speaker was Pam Kirkwood, attorney for Cattaraugus Allegheny BOCES. She spoke on topics of vaping, 504/IEP, 9/11 remembrance, penal law 265 on weapons, student voters, child victim act, anaphylaxis, immunization law, sexual harassment, extreme risk-red flag law, child sex abuse curriculum, mental health education and training, concussions and substance use.

Lauretta Gill of NY State of Health spoke to us about the availability of health insurance to any of our families. She is the navigator for Allegheny County. Kathy M provided information she picked up at the recent seminar in Corning on asthma and mental health.

Controlled substance medications were discussed—the class E felony if given to teachers to give to students to take on a field trip, teachers refusing to take medications, and designees but not a school employee. New York State Association of School Nurses and the National Association of School Nurses have combined, and dues will be $160 annually. Discussion about a school nurse union forming. All nurses should encourage other school nurses to join and attend, there are many new nurses. A Christmas party and the May meeting were discussed. Email Jill Kenney with Ideas at


For information about Zone 14 activities, contact Jill A. Kenney, Zone 14 Representative.

Jill A. Kenney, RN
Zone 14 Representative