Dixie St. John, BSN, RN – 2023 Alaska School Nurse Excellence Award

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The 2023 recipient of the School Nurse Excellence in Alaska award is Dixie St. John, BSN, RN, the school nurse at Kenai Middle School for the past eleven years in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.  Active in community outreach, Dixie is the adult advisor for the youth suicide prevention program, Sources of Strength (SOS), and the lead educator with the Intervention for Nicotine Dependence Education Tobacco and Health program (INDEPTH) and the Not on Tobacco (N.O.T.) program.  She organized a color run for SOS. She collaborates with the clinician for a school-based Youth Services Program as well as with Change for the Kenai for strengthening families providing drug and alcohol prevention and domestic violence awareness. As a guest speaker in the science classroom, she teaches on matters like hygiene, sugar addictiveness, and the dangers of vaping.  She manages a “backpack” program collaborating with a local church and food bank for weekend food bags.  She works as a mediator between students to resolve issues. Many testimonials abound: “She is the best thing to happen to many of our students and families.”  “Her amazing care has a positive ripple effect into the lives of those she comes in contact with.” “Dixie’s a strong advocate and protective factor.” A student wrote, “She is passionate about helping others through their struggles of both physical and emotional pain.  I am proud to have such an amazing nurse.” Dixie noted that the best part of the National Association of School Nurses Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice is that “students are at the center of this work.  I run my clinic this way.  Students are the heart of my practice.”  In making students the heart of her practice, Dixie has become the heart of her school and community.  Congratulations, Dixie!