One of the most important people in any primary or secondary school is its nurse.
Each year, the South Carolina Association of School Nurses honors one of these special caregivers with its South Carolina School Nurse of the Year award. This year's recipient was Mitchell Math and Science Elementary School's nurse Lidie Collier.
Mitchell Elementary is part of the Charleston County School District (CCSD).
Collier was nominated for the award by the people she works with, who said she was an excellent, skilled nurse who was confident in her abilities and was a cheerful person. Co-workers said Collier assists the children at Mitchell by promoting healthy diets and physical activity.
To be sure the students she cares for eat healthy, she has written grants to get fresh fruits and vegetables into the school for them.
"Being recognized by my peers for what I do every day is an incredible honor,” Collier said. “Parents trust their children’s health to school nurses and it’s a responsibility we all take seriously. This is my life’s passion and working with our students is a very rewarding experience.”
During her career, Collier has worked in medical, surgery, neurology and geriatrics departments and facilities. She has been the full-time nurse for Mitchell's more than 300 students for four years.
“We congratulate Lidie on her recognition and thank her for the passion she brings everyday as she serves the students at Mitchell Elementary,” Melissa Prendergast, CCSD director of nursing services, said. “She is a wonderful example of the professional school nurse. She recognizes the direct correlation between health and academic success and is committed to the health and wellness of the whole child, as well as the whole school.”
Collier will accept her South Carolina School Nurse of the Year award Jan. 23 during the South Carolina School Nurse Conference. The conference and awards ceremony will take place at the Charleston Convention Center.