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4J Nurse Receives Top State Award

Nichoel Fry is Oregon School Nurse of the Year

One of Eugene School District 4J’s outstanding healthcare providers has won the state’s top accolades. Nichoel Fry was named the 2020 School Nurse of the Year by the Oregon School Nurse Association.

Nurse Nichoel Fry has cared for the physical, mental, emotional and social health needs of 4J students for the past six years. She currently serves students at Adams Elementary School, and Camas Ridge Elementary School and Spencer Butte Middle School. Previously she cared for students at Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School and Cal Young Middle School.

Ms. Fry said she was humbled and honored to receive the award and attributes her success to the families she works with and her co-workers. “I really think this award is more of a team award than just being about me,” she said.

Ms. Fry’s passion for student success extends beyond the health room. She has worked with staff to prepare and give presentations on anxiety and suicide prevention in classrooms, as well as to parent and employee groups. She has helped identify ways to address students’ food insecurity concerns and can often be found supporting students in affinity groups during lunch.

Her volunteerism and initiative includes organizing district events and initiatives to address the needs of LGBTQ+ students and with Basic Rights of Oregon’s Fierce Families Leadership Team, a network of families who support transgender children, grandchildren and other relatives.

“Nichoel is an effective collaborator who helps us build systems that align education and health services at our school. Her values, her depth of skill and experience, her comprehensive knowledge and thirst for learning, her sense of humor, and her work ethic make her a vital part of the success of three schools in our district,” Spencer Butte Principal Peter Tromba said.

Ms. Fry will be recognized by the National Association of School Nurses during its (virtual) annual convention this summer.

“We are so proud of your accomplishments and know that you exemplify the best of school nursing,” wrote Laurie Combe, the national association’s president. “Your students, faculty, and families are fortunate to have you serving in their community.”

Nichoel Fry’s previous recognitions include the Carol A. Lindeman Award for Excellence in Nursing, Innovative Leadership, and Vision for Health Care in 2013. In 2019, she was one of several 4J nurses to receive an Excellence in Public Health Award from Lane County Public Health.

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