EC Middle’s Smits named Ga. school nurse of the year

by Celia Shortt

alt

The Georgia Association of School Nurses named East Coweta Middle School nurse Rhonda Smits the Georgia 2015 School Nurse of the Year. Above, Smits meets with parent Robbi Davis and her son, sixth-grader Jack Davis, at her school clinic on Tuesday. 


The Georgia Association of School Nurses has named East Coweta Middle School’s nurse, Rhonda Smits, Georgia’s 2015 School Nurse of the Year.

Smits is the first Coweta County school nurse to achieve this recognition.

“I was so surprised and honored,” said Smits.

According to Coweta County School System officials, ECMS counselor Tiffany Busby nominated Smits, and many of Smits’ colleagues and students also wrote letters of recommendation.

“This award recognizes professionals like Rhonda Smits for exemplary care within the speciality of school nursing,” said Sally Millians, head nurse for the Coweta County School System. “I could not imagine a better choice for the Georgia School Nurse of the Year.”

Smits has been ECMS’ nurse for 11 years and a registered nurse for 33 years. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named her a Nursing Excellence Award Winner in 2011.

Smits will represent school nurses in Georgia through 2015.

“I feel like I have the best of both worlds here,” she said. “I love nursing and this school, and I love working with these children. Every day they come in and say something that tickles my fancy. It’s never boring.”

“Rhonda is a very dedicated professional, a strong student advocate, and very passionate about the people in her care,” added Millians. “She goes above and beyond in everything she does.”

Smits earned her nursing credentials at Mobile College and worked in hospitals for 22 years. She decided to become a school nurse after her daughter, Shelly, died. Before becoming a nurse, Smits had thought about becoming a teacher. She believes working with kids in a school setting satisfies the dream of becoming a teacher and honors her daughter’s memory.

School nurses in Coweta County serve all 31 schools in the district. In the 2013-2014 school year, Coweta’s school nurses responded to more than 96,000 student illnesses and injuries. They administered more than 29,000 special procedures and helped manage medications each month for thousands of students, as well as providing student screenings, parent consultations, classroom training and professional training.



More Local

Georgia to execute only woman on state's death row

ATLANTA (AP) — The only woman on Georgia's death row is set to be executed Monday. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, who's 46, is set to die at ... Read More


10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday: 1. FEDS CLOSE TO PUBLISHING FINDING ... Read More


Programs reflect growing diversity in schools

Coweta County – like the rest of Georgia – is growing more diverse, and that is reflected in programs being held in the county&r ... Read More


Eye-catching billboard may help catch killer

When travelling on Interstate 85 north through Fairburn, many motorists have taken notice of Donna “Denice" Roberts’ face on a l ... Read More


Acceptance starts with liking one’s self

“Diversity – it starts with you.” That was the message that keynote speaker Nick Ferrante brought to the Diversity Day pro ... Read More

Tradition dates to 1422 in England

Bankruptcy Inn of Court named to honor Drake

The recently formed Georgia Bankruptcy American Inn of Court has been named for W. Homer Drake Jr. of Newnan. Drake is U.S. Bankruptcy Court ... Read More