For the third year in a row, we're celebrating National School Nurses Week by honoring some very special school health professionals with the Achievement in School Health Excellence (ASHE) Award. From over 200 nominations, 10 finalists were selected, and based off of the people's vote, we're pleased to announce the two ASHE Award winners and eight finalists. Without further ado, the winners of the 2014 ASHE Award are Jackie Baker, of King's Way Christian Schools, and Debra Bond, of Cheshire Academy. Both recipients will receive a $1,500 grant for their health center, and a personalized plaque. Keep reading to see the glowing nominations submitted for each of these fantastic women by their peers and colleagues. ASHE_check,_awards

Jackie Baker: In our unique PK-12 school setting, Jackie has the amazing ability to handle a large caseload with a student population from diverse backgrounds and a broad age range (12 months to 18 years). The dynamics of a private school can also foster many opinions from various stakeholders; nevertheless, Jackie comports herself with a wonderful balance of professionalism, courteous deference, resolved action, and gracious understanding. Her health room is frequently busy, but Jackie remains diligent and positive with each student, and, sometimes, staff member. Her professional contribution to our organization is twofold. Firstly, she maintains an autonomous department, keeps accurate records, reports to the site with high reliability, and dutifully attends to every medical need. I am particularly grateful for her responses in emergency situations. Earlier this year, she quickly and successfully administered an EpiPen in a serious case that many believed saved the student's life. Secondly, in spite of the caseload, Jackie finds time to educate our stakeholders, provide systemic resources for teachers and administrators, and serve as a frequent guest teacher in our high school health and science courses. Jackie willingly shares information with our stakeholders, empowering all of us to be more effective in our respective roles.

Debra BondIt is no secret that nurses are some of the hardest working medical professionals in the field. Our director of Health Services, Debra Bond, is no exception. The independent school setting is very unique example; here at CA we host not only domestic students but also students from all over the world. Two-thirds of our students call Cheshire Academy their home, which requires supervision, immense planning and dedication. Deb works long, hard hours coordinating paperwork, maintain files, communicating with personal doctors, dormitory parents, parents/legal guardians and more. Her position is not a typical 9-5. In fact her shift truly never ends. When she leaves campus, Deb shares "on call" duties with her fellow nurse Daron Gawronski. They field calls on weekends, holidays, and even in the middle of the night. The hours are long the work is hard and as the school's athletic trainer I can truly appreciate the sincere dedication and passion that Deb has for her position and for Cheshire Academy. Deb is a well respected member of the Cheshire Academy community and the work she does is vital to well-being of our school. I am so pleased to have to opportunity to nominate Deb and our Health Center for the ASHE Award.

Finalists: We're happy to announce the below eight finalists and recognize their hard work. Each of the finalists will receive a $100 Visa gift card.

  • Scott Byrd, Gatlinburg-Pittman High
  • Jenni Skopal, Cedar Park Middle
  • Amy Croom, Cape Fear Academy
  • Dawn Eggebrecht, Grace Christian School
  • Marcy Kwitny, Polytechnic School
  • Sheila Caldwell, Cambridge Park Preschool
  • Jasmin Whitfield, Sidwell Friends
  • Missy Nix, Creekside Elementary
Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations! We're thrilled to celebrate the hard work of all school health professionals by highlighting the contributions of these 10 stellar nominees. If you weren't able to nominate someone this year, have no fear, the ASHE Award will return in 2015.

We also want to take this opportunity to congratulate last year's ASHE Award recipient, Nancy Weida, on her retirement. Thanks for your many years of dedicated service, and enjoy some much deserved rest and relaxation, Nurse Nancy!

Happy School Nurse Day to all!

Check out past ASHE Award recipients

Kathryn Sloop

Written by Kathryn Sloop

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