Fran Overdyke, a longtime county nurse with Gwinnett County Public Schoools (GCPS), has been named School Nurse of the Year by the Georgia Association of School Nurses (GASN). Through this award, the GASN recognizes nurses who have demonstrated excellence in school nursing services. Overdyke, who has been a nurse for more than a decade and a half, says she appreciates the honor.
“There are so many talented and dedicated school nurses in GCPS, so I am very honored to receive the award,” Overdyke said. She added, “I love what I do and I can honestly say it’s the best nursing job I’ve ever had and I learn new things all the time. I am motivated by the needs of our students, their families, and the staff in our schools. We are such a large system and the needs are many and varied.”
Jennifer Poole Ross, GCPS lead nurse, applauded Overdyke, saying she is a leader and asset to the school district. She adds, “Fran’s knowledge and expertise in the areas of pediatric nursing and school health have contributed significantly not only to the health and well-being of the students with whom she works, but to their academic achievement and general success.” Ross explains, “She works diligently at each of the schools to which she is assigned to ensure that, through best practices, our students maintain their highest level of health in order to maximize educational outcomes. Fran’s commitment and contributions to school health earned her this statewide honor and this award is a testament to the level of excellence in the specialized practice of school nursing that she has brought to her role.”
Overdyke is the second GCPS nurse to win the award in the last three years. Joanne Giel won the award in 2015. Ross says the district’s nurses set the bar high, saying “Having a Gwinnett County School Nurse win the GASN School Nurse of the Year award twice within a three-year period is evidence that, as a department, we believe in the promise of Gwinnett and are committed to ensuring that student health contributes to learning and to the foundation of a healthy and successful future.”