Letter: In thanks of Ridgefield's public school nurses

To the Editor:

During National Nurses Week (May 6-12), nurses deserve our support, recognition and appreciation more than ever. I'm writing to recognize a particular group of nurses who are Ridgefield’s unsung heroes, a special team that works continuously behind the scenes to keep our community safe and healthy: the school nurses of Ridgefield Public Schools, St. Mary School and Ridgefield Academy.

From day one of the pandemic, our school nurses have gone above and beyond for the teachers, staff, families and children of our community. They eagerly and bravely returned to school during the pandemic and adopt new protocols to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our school buildings. They donned protective equipment, such as N95 masks, medical gowns and face shields, and cared for students and staff members exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms before they could be sent home — long before a vaccine was even available.

To date, our nurses have made almost 3,000 phone calls, many during evenings and weekends, to counsel, teach and reassure families affected by the pandemic.

Our nurses are highly educated and experienced with backgrounds in critical care, pediatrics, emergency and military services and other areas. They chose to bring their vast skills and experience to our schools, and their kindness and dedication to the children of our community set them apart.

Much like other heroes, they don’t seek recognition for their work — they are perfectly happy to do good deeds every day under the radar and away from public view. So please join me in celebrating, and thanking, all of our Ridgefield school nurses:

Lynn Issac, RN; Barlow Mountain Elementary School.

Andree Fitzgerald, RN; Branchville Elementary School.

Chris Giacometti, RN; Farmingville Elementary School.

Kimberly Collins, RN; Ridgebury Elementary School.

Lisa Martire, RN; Scotland Elementary School.

Judy Gallagher, RN; Veterans Park Elementary School.

Lauren Hyvarinen, RN; East Ridge Middle School.

Laura Kenny, RN; Scotts Ridge Middle School.

Allison Houlihan, RN; Ridgefield High School.

Rosalie DeSimone, RN; Ridgefield High School.

Colleen Minchik, RN; Ridgefield High School.

Linda Silvers, RN; St. Mary School.

Laura Clark, RN; Ridgefield Academy.

Tabitha Gargon, LPN; Special Services.

Julie Costella, RN; Substitute School Nurse.

Sandra DeRaffele, RN; Substitute School Nurse.

Lisa Hayman, RN; Substitute School Nurse.

Caitlin Madhoun, RN; Substitute School Nurse.

Linda Miller, RN; Retired Ridgebury School Nurse, Substitute School Nurse.

Eileen Wilson, RN; Substitute School Nurse.

Robin Brown, RN; Substitute School Nurse.

Aaron Crook, RN