The New York State Association of School Nurses is pleased to recognize school nurses who go above and beyond their daily activities in making their schools a safe and welcoming environment. Taking the time to make a difference in someone’s life is why they are being recognized by NYSASN, the professional association that solely represents school nurses across New York State.
Congratulations to school nurse Kathy Darrow-Holla, who just started her 30th year at Wellsville Secondary School in Wellsville. (Now that name alone should promote good health!) Kathy enjoys telling former students, who are in their 30s and 40s and whose children she now cares for, that she never did get out of middle school! In one of the most crucial times of her nursing career, Kathy recognized a student suffering from cardiac arrest while in gym class. She immediately initiated CPR and saved the student’s life.
An additional responsibility for Kathy has been the orientation of all newly hired school nurses both within the district and beyond its borders within the county. She performs as an exceptional liaison between the local medical providers and the district health offices. With any issue brought to her attention, Kathy confronts it with 100 percent of her time and effort. Currently, even with the all the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Kathy has continued to stay right at the front of the storm, handling policies, paperwork, parents, and patients with her usual finesse and professionalism.
The application for her recognition adds, “She has been a leader within the school nurse community and has earned their utmost respect!” No wonder Kathy is recognized within her district as one of the best!
Let’s hear it for another school nurse who’s been brought to NYSASN’s attention, Elizabeth Giancaspro. Liz, as she is called, works as the school nurse at Spackenkill High School in Poughkeepsie. As her friend Stacey Sacco writes in nominating Liz for this recognition, “There is not one specific date but months of hard dedication to the Spackenkill School District that Liz should be recognized for. She pushed aside her summer break and family to make sure both students and district staff had a safe plan in place for return to school this September.” Even before the pandemic, her office was viewed as a safe haven for all students, whether for illness symptoms or those experiencing anxiety issues, this latter becoming of increasing concern for middle and high school students
Besides her role as school nurse, Liz is also the district nurse advisor for all four district schools. Always the professional, Liz exhibits the qualities envisioned when thinking about what a nurse should be. Besides having an “impeccable” work ethic, she shows compassion to all students, their families, and staff. Even when dealing with some of the “more challenging” students or their parents, Liz never allows her own emotions to deter her from the mission of providing care and support for all. “She genuinely loves what she does and it shows through her enthusiasm to educate others in a way that makes them feel accomplished.”
NYSASN would like to recognize school nurse Naomi Stevens RN from Woodstock, New York, as an Everyday Hero. Naomi, who works as a school nurse at Kingston High School, was appointed as the Kingston School District’s COVID Liaison. This position has placed her in charge and made her the “go to” person for everything COVID. Naomi puts in countless hours of the day/night answering phone calls and emails from throughout the district. According to her colleagues, “She works hard to ensure best practice and the staff’s safety during this pandemic.”
In addition to these responsibilities, Naomi also serves as a lead nurse for the secondary schools in the district, offering guidance to the nurses as needed and advocating for them in their school practice.
Lindsey Drozd is employed by the West Valley School District in West Valley, New York, and is being recognized for her months of hard work and dedication. We are told by her administration that she is always there for her co-workers, along with being truly knowledgeable about the current pandemic situation and how to best manage it in the school setting.