Portland school nurse nominated for national award

Tina Veilleux, a Portland Public Schools nurse coordinator who serves on the district’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Team, has been nominated for the 2021-2022 National LifeChanger of the Year award, which recognizes school employees who exemplify excellence and leadership.

LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the best K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

Veilleux, also a Reiche Community School nurse, is now eligible to win one of numerous cash prizes to share with her school/district. The community is invited to help her win by adding comments of support at app.lifechangeroftheyear.com.

“’LifeChanger’ is a perfect description of this exemplary school nurse,” Superintendent Xavier Botana said. “As school nurse coordinator, Tina has worked tirelessly to lead these efforts with supreme competence and grace. We are extremely proud of her and deeply grateful for her dedication and service.”

Veilleux, who joined the district nearly two decades ago, was nominated by her colleague, Becky Bell, Casco Bay High School nurse.

“Veilleux is also a reliable and thoughtful person with one of the most calm and caring demeanors you could find amongst school nurses,” Bell said in her nomination. “You would be hard-pressed to notice that she oversees 12 nurses practicing in five elementary, three middle and three high schools serving a total of 7,000 students, the largest school district in the state. In addition to this, she maintains her own school nurse practice in one of the elementary schools, a school with approximately 500 students.”

Middle school students see ‘ripple effect’ from grant

Students at Portland’s three middle schools will benefit from a $22,000 grant from L.L.Bean that will continue participation in outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, rock climbing and outdoor team-building activities with their peers, teachers and the schools’ Rippleffect program staff.

Portland Public Schools has provided outdoor education experiences for all students at King, Lincoln and Lyman Moore Middle school students since 2019, with help from the outdoor retailer.

“The Rippleffect collaboration has been instrumental in helping develop leadership through team building,” said Robyn Bailey, interim principal at Lincoln Middle School. “This relationship has helped Lincoln students find success through outdoor education, shared values, and an opportunity to explore learning outside the classroom walls.”