Chicago Public Schools Honors School Nurses During Nurse Appreciation Week
12 May 2023
Nurses Receive Awards for Extraordinary Service to CPS Students and Schools
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) honored school nurses today during a National Nurse Appreciation Week celebration that highlighted the critical role of school nurses in supporting student health and well being, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the event, District leaders presented five school nurses with the District’s Recognition Of Service Extraordinaires (ROSE) Award.
“Our school nurses are an essential part of the District’s whole-student approach to student success,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “The services our school nurses provide sets students up to learn, grow and thrive both in our classrooms and in their communities. I am proud to recognize our exceptional nurses this week and thank them for their service to our students and schools.”
Since 2019, the District’s intentional recruitment and retention efforts have resulted in a 72 percent increase in the number of school nurses in CPS schools, going from 311 nurses in 2019 to 536 nurses in 2023. The District’s investment in student health supports is part of a holistic strategy to expand student access to nurses, counselors, social workers and psychologists to support students’ social, emotional, physical and psychological needs. Today’s celebration honored the District’s school nurses, more than 200 of whom were nominated for ROSE Awards.
“Health is a key factor in student success and our school nurses are vital to ensuring our students stay on track and achieve their goals,” said Chief Health Officer Dr. Sofia Adawy Akintunde. “As we have navigated the pandemic and returned to in-person learning, our dedicated school nurses have continued to go above and beyond to serve our students, staff and families.”
The District’s ROSE Award winners were nominated by their peers and school communities for their attributes in the following categories: Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence. More information about the respective categories for which they’re being honored and the school that nominated each nurse is included below:
Norma Rivera, Back of the Yards College Preparatory High School - Integrity Award: One who dedicates themself to service in the best interests of our students, families, school and community; speaks up and takes positive action when something is inappropriate or inconsistent with the mission of Chicago Public Schools, follows through on commitments and holds themselves accountable.
Debra Adams, Mahalia Jackson Elementary School - Compassion Award: Actively listens to the perspectives, values and needs of the students, families, and school and treats them as if they are their own; maintains an engaged and personal presence while serving the school community and promotes a therapeutic environment.
Cyntia Lopez, Northwest Middle School - Accountability Award: One who demonstrates the highest professional standards of ethics, knowledge, skill, and competence in decision making and work performance; approaches challenges in a manner that reflects the mission, vision, and values of Chicago Public Schools, takes pride in the environment around them and takes positive action for its betterment.
Elliot Davis, Clinton Elementary School - Respect Award: One who demonstrates respect for the culture and values of those served by Chicago Public Schools; who values and embraces the rich diversity of cultural insight, professional identity, and training in achieving the goals of a Healthy Chicago Public Schools.
Mary Soeding, Walter Payton College Preparatory High School - Excellence Award: One who demonstrates a personal commitment to creating and sustaining the highest standards of safety, quality, and service; works collaboratively with others to improve the health and quality of education of the students; who embraces change in the pursuit of achieving a Healthy Chicago Public Schools.
The District also recognized top ROSE Award finalists, including Shalva Banker, Melissa Herrar, Ella Lawal, Audrey Burchett, Jasmine Williams and Johanna Magallon.
In addition to the ROSE Award winners, the District recognized the contributions of nurse managers for their leadership in the midst of change, including Althea Dumas, Shanna Hodges, Jenny Kasal, Brandon Major and Tesia Milton.