Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight: School Nurses
Posted on 12/14/2020
staff spotlight

MOBOCES school nurses play an important role in a student’s health and wellbeing. Healthier children learn better. School nurses are an essential part of the campus and play an important role in keeping everyone healthy, especially during this pandemic. They address the physical, mental, emotional and social health needs of students and supports their achievement in the learning process.

“Our MOBOCES team of nurses is amazing, particularly during this COVID-19 crisis.  Not because it’s required, but rather because it’s who they are! They overcome insurmountable challenges and they persevere through their professionalism, kindness, and desire to offer wellness to all,” said James Weaver, Director of Special Education.

MOBOCES is fortunate to have five nurses. Three are located on the MOBOCES campus and two are located in our off-campus programs.  

staff spotlight: nurses 


Susan Combs, LPN – Special Programs –Triplexus

How long have you worked at MOBOCES? 14 years full-time and substitute nurse for 5 years.

What do you like most about your job? Taking care of children and helping them.    

What have been some of the challenges you have experienced since the pandemic?
The workload has been greatly increased due to COVID.

Fun fact about you? I like spending time with my family.

 

Stephanie Hawthorne, RN Special Programs VVS

How long have you worked for MOBOCES? 8 years. I also worked as a Madison County Public Health Nurse for 8 years.

What do you like most about your job? Daily interactions with our special needs students. They are so personable!

What have been some of the challenges you have experienced since the pandemic? Finding ways to have in person contact with our kiddos. Completing contact tracing questionnaires and relaying quarantining dates, follow up with doctors for required medical documentation.

Fun fact about you? I have ridden a Harley Davidson motorcycle cross country to San Francisco and back in 3 weeks.

 

Sue Gould, RN – JD George Elementary – VVS

How long have you worked for MOBOCES? Started September 2018

What do you like most about your job? Building bonds with students and watching them grow.

What have been some of the challenges you have experienced since the pandemic?

Educating staff and families on NYS guidelines and school protocols. Working with families and doctors to get paperwork needed for students to return to class. Following up on paperwork.

Fun Fact about you? My husband and I just brought our first home to flip.

 

Elaine M. Farruggia, LPN – Career and Technical Education - Rossetti

How long have you worked at MOBOCES? 19 years

What do you like most about your job? The students! It is an honor to be a small part of their lives. I know all of us nurses do make a difference in many of their lives.

What have been some of the challenges you have experienced since the Pandemic? Juggling the extraordinary amount of the information for my 900+ CTE students pertaining to quarantines, exposures and COVID-19 test results. Communication is crucial with our home school RNs.  It has also been difficult not to see our students every day, due to their limited in person learning schedules. Our goal is to keep all our students and staff, healthy and happy.

Fun fact about me? The most rewarding gift in life is my husband and three children. We love to hike, ski and go to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.  

 

Marianna Tarkowski, RN, Nurse Coordinator – MOBOCES

How long have you worked at MOBOCES? Since January 2019

What do you like most about your job? I love helping the students. I love providing education and working with my nursing team

What have been some of the challenges you have experienced since the Pandemic? The whole pandemic has changed our job duties. We all still need to perform our regular duties of assessing and treating students, but we now have to perform evaluations and follow-ups to COVID cases. I work with the other nurses to gather data and compile information into a COVID report that I work on with Mr. Weaver. I also follow up with the parents of students to make sure they are either getting their child tested or cleared by a PCP in order to be cleared to return to school. I reach out to the DOH frequently in regard to specific cases and concerns. One of our major concerns is keeping surveillance and following up under COVID guidelines to help ensure our staff and students are safe.

Fun fact about you? I am a mother to a 1-year-old boy, and I am expecting a baby girl in January. I love hiking. My husband and I like going to Lake Placid to hike the high peaks.

 

MOBOCES Staff Spotlight is a first in a series highlighting staff.  If you know of someone who should be considered for recognition, please email Jill Pekarski at jpekarski@moboces.org