School nurse goes above and beyond for all on campus, colleagues say

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Pat Johnson, who serves as the nurse at Dallas ISD’s Stonewall Jackson Elementary School, is the 2017-2018 Health Services Employee of the Year.

Johnson said that one thing she enjoys about being a school nurse is that the job is different every day.

“You get to work with students, parents and staff to facilitate their health and well being,” she said. “In addition to providing health services such as first aid and medications, we do health education activities, screenings, counseling, and promote parent and community involvement. You can make a real difference in the lives of children every day.”

Johnson’s nomination stood out because she was nominated by both her principal and staff at the school. She is described as always going above and beyond to promote health in the school community.

”Unlike most school nurses who begin their day at 7:45 and leave at 3:40, Nurse Johnson opens her clinic doors before most staff members arrive,” wrote members of the school’s second-grade team.

Principal Melanie Mans said Johnson provides crucial health information. “She’s a walking ‘health’ encyclopedia,” Mans wrote in her nomination letter, adding that Johnson helped sanitize areas of the school to thwart the spread of flu.

Johnson co-founded the Stonewall Jackson Peace Pantry, which provides food for families in need. Assuring students have proper nutrition so that they are ready and capable to learn is one of Johnson’s goals. She is the CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) team leader and organizes the Baylor Dental Sealant Program, Carter blood drives, campus community health fairs, Vogel Alcove toy drives, promotes participation in area fun runs and marathons, and tutors children through the Feed Lake Highlands group. That is on top of performing her daily nursing responsibilities at the school.

“My passions are related to promoting a healthy lifestyle and leading by example,” Johnson said. “I enjoy running, yoga, cycle/spin class as well as hiking. I make every effort to encourage students and staff to participate in events on and off campus.”

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