#SuperSchoolShoutOut: Certificated Staff Week

#SuperSchoolShoutOut: Certificated Staff Week
Posted on 05/08/2024

May 6-10 is Certificated School Employees Week and today is National School Nurse Day! To celebrate, we’re showing our #CPSDPride by giving a #SuperSchoolShoutout to CPSD school nurses!

CPSD has 17 registered nurses who travel throughout the district to support our students’ physical health needs. They work as a team to make sure students get the care they need to be present in the classroom as active learners. “Nurses get to advocate,” Diane Pohl said. “Kids, staff, families and schools rely on us to back their health needs and make sure they’re supported.”

Nurses connect students to medical care and keep them safe and healthy in a school setting. This requires them to work as case managers by assessing, planning, coordinating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the services required to meet each student’s unique needs.

“We manage the case load of more than a thousand kids,” Rebecca Ho said. “We nurses have the chance to influence the lives of these children in a positive way.”

The best part about being a school nurse is working with our wonderful CPSD students. For Thomas Middle School nurse Becky Miller, the ability to make students feel safe and cared for is a privilege. “Middle schoolers are up and down constantly, but we can be a safe place for them to come to when they are having a hard time with friends or school by helping them even out and reduce their anxiety,” she said.

For nurses like Elizabeth Barr, the families and community of Lakewood makes working in CPSD a special experience. “This community is so diverse in its people, its customs and its culture, so you never meet the same person twice,” Elizabeth Barr said. “We may not all have the same perspective on health care, but people in this community are so friendly, supportive of each other and authentic to who they are.”

#SuperSchoolShoutout: School Nurses

To continue our shoutout, we celebrated Beachwood Elementary School librarian Susan O’Leary and Thomas Middle School sixth grade science teacher Tanner Christy.

Susan attended CPSD as a child and began her 30-year teaching career in the district. Throughout her career, she has served as a principal and taught overseas in Nigeria. A former military child, she returned to CPSD three years ago to serve Joint Base Lewis-McChord students as the Beachwood librarian.

“Over time, I’ve learned to be a better global citizen by teaching students from more than 42 countries,” Susan said. “I love it here because I feel like I’m giving back to our military community.”

Susan enjoys building connections with students through stories. “The library can enhance learning by inspiring imagination and creativity, which encourages kids to learn more,” she said. “Librarians are always learning right alongside students which is one of the best parts of our job.”

Like Susan, Tanner has been at Thomas for three years and began her teaching career in CPSD. “Thomas is great because the staff here is gold,” she said. “The students are great and the parents are really involved. Sometimes, we’ll get so many volunteers for an activity that we can’t include everyone, which is a great problem to have.”

Tanner became a teacher because she always had a drive to help others learn. “I love times when I can connect with students by sharing our hobbies and interests,” she said. “When they feel that you care, it makes such a difference.”

Tanner’s favorite topic to teach is green architecture which explores how our built environment affects students and our ecosystem. “It’s important that educators teach what they’re passionate about because students can sense that, and it makes them more excited to learn,” she said.

#SuperSchoolShoutout: Susan and Tanner

Go certificated staff!