Mar 22, 2019

Sharon Schmitz named School Nurse Administrator of the Year

Photo of Sharon Schmitz awarded School Nurse Administrator of the Year

After working her way up in the district from a sub to an administrator, PLSD School Health Supervisor Sharon Schmitz was recently named School Nurse Administrator of the Year by her peers. She was recognized at a celebration reception on March 8 at the 46th annual State Conference of the Ohio Association of School Nurses (COASN) in Dayton, and will be honored by PLSD’s Board of Education at its March 25 meeting. Sharon was selected for this prestigious award by the membership of the Ohio Association of School Nurses.

Sharon has been in the district since 1993, when she was hired as a sub. She later held positions as the school nurse at Pickerington Middle School (which is now where Heritage Elementary and the District office is located), Fairfield Elementary, and Diley and Harmon Middle Schools. She became an administrator in 1999 and, at times throughout the years, she has been charged with being both the school nurse and supervisor.

“Since the majority of my work is behind the scenes, the best part of my work is through the dedicated team of school nurses and health assistants who work to do their best to provide health services for our students, their families and staff every day,” said Sharon. “We have the privilege and responsibility to touch the lives of EVERY student in our district as we are charged with reviewing immunization records and emergency health authorization forms of each and every child, as well as completing vision and hearing screening for students in preschool, kindergarten, first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh grades.”

“In addition, our school nurses work to develop individual health care plans with orders from health care providers, parent, and student input,” she continued. “Many people have the perception of school nurses as waiting in the clinic for a kid to come in for a band-aid. The clinics are busy places with scheduled appointments for students who need daily treatments as well as walk-ins. Many of our school clinics record daily visits averaging 30-50 students per day.”

As President of COASN, Sharon leads the organization whose mission is to promote the health and educational objective of the local school system and of the state and nation; to protect the welfare and advance the interests of its members; to foster professional attitudes; to promote continuing professional education; and establish and maintain helpful friendly relationships within the membership.

“We are continuing to maintain our Heart Safe Schools Initiative including teaching students in grades four, six, eight and 10 Hands-Only CPR and how to use an AED,” said Sharon. “Staff is also trained in Hands-Only CPR, AED use, and all schools practice three Cardiac Medical Drills per year.

Sharon and her team also partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) to provide opportunities for healthcare at various schools including NCH’s School-Based Asthma Therapy program. In January, Sharon and her staff offered training in the utilization of “Stop the Bleed” kits at the district’s Innovation Conference. Her team also mentors OSU College of Nursing students and leads staff wellness initiatives throughout the district.