In her 20 years as the school nurse at The Franciscan School (TFS), Joanne Sullivan has worked to ensure that every member of the TFS community is healthy, happy and safe.
Before COVID-19, Sullivan spent most of her days updating student records, administering lunchtime medications, communicating with parents and treating jammed fingers or sprained ankles, cuts and scrapes, mostly minor injuries.
“Every day is different,” Sullivan says. “But it’s always a joy. I love getting that one-on-one time hearing our students’ stories and helping people in practical ways.” Now, with a pandemic underway, she has several other responsibilities to take care of to maintain a safe environment for all. But with 35 years of experience as a nurse under her belt, including time working in the ICU, Sullivan feels prepared for the school year ahead.
“I’m ready for the challenges that come my way and can promise that communication will be a key factor,” Sullivan says. “Parents can reach out to me at any point with questions and concerns. And if I don’t have the answer to a particular question myself, I will direct it to the right person.”
Sullivan also finds confidence in the work the entire TFS community is putting in to keep students – and their families – safe.
“We have lots of new procedures in place this year,” Sullivan says. “We’ll take daily temperatures on all of our students and staff, ask attestation questions, wear face masks and ensure social distancing. It’s all a work in process, and I’m sure things will change daily, but we’re working hard to keep everyone safe.”
In addition to serving as the school nurse, Sullivan has been a parishioner at St. Francis since 1992 and has been invested in TFS as a parent as well. Her three children, Lauren, Mark and Katie, all graduated from TFS.
“I’ve been part of the community at TFS for 20 years now and love it so very much,” she says. “I’m looking forward to another year of serving our community.”