Westerville community partners, civic leaders and Westerville City Schools officials honored the district’s 34 nurses and health aides at a surprise gathering Wednesday at Westerville South High School.
Led by Westerville Education Foundation Executive Director Colleen Moidu, the recognition event featured representatives from all across the city: Westerville Mayor Kathy Cocuzzi, Councilmember Kenneth Wright, incoming Councilmember Dr. Coutanya M. Coombs, Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg, WCSD district leaders and board members as well as members from the Westerville Education Challenge, Westerville Partners for Education and Westerville Parent Council.
Dr. Kate King, a school nurse at World Language Middle School for Columbus City Schools who serves as president of the Ohio School Health Services Association and president-elect of the National Association of School Nurses, was also on hand to honor the district’s clinic team.
“I am so proud and honored to be here with you,” King told the nurses and health aides. “You are the people who keep students and staff and families and the community safe. You are the ones who allow children to be in school where they belong.”
Moidu presented the nurses and health aides with the foundation’s inaugural Many Hands Award, designed to honor individuals and groups of individuals who go above and beyond to contribute to the achievement, health and well-being of students in the district.
Foundation leaders were inspired to create the award after learning about the additional duties the district’s clinic team took on during the pandemic.
“What a critical role you play in keeping our kids healthy and in school, and in keeping our community healthy,” she said. “We hope that this is the first of many Many Hands Awards and we hope that you feel honored today and every time we give out one of these awards knowing that it started with you.”
Cocuzzi and Wright also awarded each member of the clinic team a commendation. Last month, the two civic leaders presented a proclamation to honor healthcare workers from all of the city’s partners, including the district’s nurses and health aides.
“Please know you are valued, respected and treasured,” said Westerville board member Tracy Davidson, who is also a member of the Westerville Education Challenge. “We appreciate you from the bottom of our hearts.”
“I could say it a million times and it wouldn’t be enough times,” said Westerville board member Jennifer Aultman, who is a member of Westerville Partners for Education. “Thank you very much for everything you do.”