REPUBLIC, Mo. — A local school nurse is being recognized as the best in the Show Me State.
McCulloch Elementary in Republic is recognizing Nancy Leonard for her compassion in caring for her students.
Leonard was nominated by her colleagues for the America’s Greatest School Nurse Contest. She was named best in the state.
Over the years, responsibilities and technology have certainly changed for school nurses. Leonard not only works to keep kids healthy, she works to make their school experience a good memory.
“It was absolute shock and just couldn’t believe it. I had no idea. It’s quite an honor,” explains McCulloch Elementary’s RSN, Nancy Leonard.
Leonard says serving as a registered school nurse to more than 400 students is a great experience.
“I do what I do because I love it. When you get to come to work everyday and feel like it’s not a job It’s a pretty great thing.”
She spent time working as an OBGYN Nurse after school and took the job of school nurse after being a stay at home mom.
“The response after nine years of school nursing you lose count on the number of families that you’ve been able to care for, interact with, and create relationships with. It’s been a lot of fun.”
In school, her job is about more than medicine.
“We do all the above plus a lot of kids when they’re here if they’re aren’t bleeding or there’s no apparent medical reason they’re here for something.”
For Nurse Nancy, caring for kids is a calling.
“My heart is here. I just love my kids. Being in a neighborhood school is wonderful.”
When Principal Brigette Goleman heard about the contest for America’s Greatest School Nurse she decided to submit Nancy.
Golmen tells KOLR10, “she is just a great asset for our building, for our teachers, for our students, and for our families.
Goleman says she is fortunate to have someone not only representing their school, but the community.
“Nancy just has this gift of being able to be bright spot in any ones’ day for students or for a staff.”
Mackenzie Couts is a McCulloch Elementary Second Grader. She says ,”when I come down here it’s usually for a loose tooth or If I’m hurt.”
Nancy won’t boast about her own work, but others like Couts will. “I’m really thankful because she’s really nice.”
“When you get in nursing you know if you’re in the right place. I absolutely know that I’m in the right place,” explains Leonard.