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PPS Nurse Nominee for LifeChanger Award

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PPS Nurse Nominee for LifeChanger Award
Posted on 01/25/2022
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Portland Public Schools nurse coordinator and Reiche Community School nurse Tina Veilleux has been nominated for the 2021-2022 National LifeChanger of the Year award. Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the very 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 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 to her nominee profile.

“Tina Veilleux is incredibly deserving of this honor,” said Superintendent Xavier Botana. “’LifeChanger’ is a perfect description of this exemplary school nurse. All our school nurses have played a pivotal and pressure-packed role throughout this pandemic to keep our students and staff safe. 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’s nominee profile lists a variety of ways that she stands out.

“Ms. Veilleux has been the key spoke in the public health wheel of her school district.  She has strong relationships with the state Department of Education (DOE) and the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC). She vetted all of her district's procedures and policies prior to rolling them out and works tirelessly in tandem with Greater Portland Health, the local FQHC (Fed. Qualified Health Center) that oversees her district's four school-based clinics.

Ms. Veilleux was asked to serve on the district’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Team, which consisted of all building principals and senior administration. She attended online meetings with the state school nurse consultant and gathered appropriate and clear information/data from both the Maine CDC and her school physician in order to help senior administrators make the correct call regarding school building closure in March 2020.  

Ms. Veilleux is also a reliable and thoughtful person with one of the most calm and caring demeanors you could find amongst school nurses. 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 about 6,500 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. Almost 70% of her school's students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, half are students of color, and over a third are English Language Learners. Veilleux knows her students, their families, and her support staff. She builds relationships with the school community to maximize the support available to the school. She is proactive in engaging with the district's multilingual and multicultural center to understand how to provide culturally sensitive support to students and families.”

“Throughout all of these endeavors, Ms. Veilleux never seeks the limelight or recognition, but quietly advocates so strongly for her students and nurse colleagues,” Bell said. “She is deserving of so much more recognition. She truly has been a LifeChanger and life-saver for those she cares for and leads in her district and community.”

About LifeChanger of the Year

Each school year, LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Eighteen individual LifeChanger of the Year awards will be given during the 2021-2022 school year.

•          (1) Grand Prize Winner – will receive $10,000 to be shared with their school/district.

•          (4) Grand Prize Finalists – will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.

•          (10) LifeChanger Award Winners – will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school/district.

•          (1) Spirit Award Winner – This award is given to the nominee whose community demonstrates the most support for their nomination. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school/district.

•          (1) Capstone Award Winner - This award is given to a nominee retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year. The winner will receive $3,000 to be shared with their school or district.

•          (1) Spotlight Award Winner – This award is given to a nominee in a specific discipline each year. For 2021-22, the Spotlight Award will be given to a school nurse. The winner will receive $5,000 to be shared with their school or district.

Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals, and will be announced in early 2022. Nominees must be K-12 teachers or school district employees. To be considered for an award, nominees must:

•          Make a positive impact in the lives of students

•          Enhance their school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride

•          Demonstrate exemplary leadership at the school and/or district level

•          Possess a proven record of professional excellence

•          Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning

•          Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards

A resource page with ideas for how to celebrate nominees can be found at http://lifechangeroftheyear.com/showspirit/.

 View Veilleux’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile.

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.