Local Recipient of the 2020 Excellence in School Nursing Award
Silver Creek Central School District is pleased to share that one of its staff has been selected as a recipient of the 2020 Excellence in School Nursing Award from the New York State Association of School Nurses. NYSASN recognizes school nurses in the empire state who excel in their practice of school nursing and Jennifer S. Johnson, a registered nurse who has worked at Silver Creek since 2014, is one of only seven recipients this year.
A lifelong resident of Chautauqua County, Johnson became a registered nurse when she graduated from Jamestown Community College in 1997 with high honors and an associate degree in science. She worked as a supervisor in geriatric nursing then was soon appointed school nurse for Bemus Point Central School District, where she worked for the next eight years while also coaching basketball, serving as a senior class advisor, and American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED instructor. While working at Bemus Point CSD, she met Deputy Wes Johnson, the current Silver Creek CSD School Resource Officer, and they eventually married.
She left the educational setting for a short time to move on to Chautauqua Opportunities as a maternal health educator and then to the Chautauqua County Health Department. At the CCHD, she served in various roles including Immunization and Family Planning Clinics along with Early Intervention and Committee on Pre-School Education Committee chair. She also returned to school to obtain her BSN and EMT license during that time.
Johnson decided to pursue forensic nursing and obtained a certificate as a forensic nurse and then moved on to be the nursing supervisor at Chautauqua County Jail for the next three years. But Johnson missed working with students and accepted a position at JCC as the Assistant Director of School Health Services. During her time at JCC she was elected in her hometown as town justice and just completed an eight-year term on the bench.
While she continued to pursue higher education and other professional interests, Johnson held on to the memory of caring for schoolchildren in the early stages of her career.
“I have always been blessed as a nurse to work in various positions, but have never been more content and happier than working as a school nurse,” says Johnson.
After joining the staff of Silver Creek CSD, Johnson was appointed as zone representative for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Alleghany counties for the NYSASN and served in that capacity for three years. Mrs. Johnson was the first school nurse in Chautauqua County to bring automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in to the educational setting before the state mandated them. She also was the first to have an approved opioid overdose and anaphylaxis public access programs along with available wall-mount mass casualty response units.
“We are fortunate at Silver Creek to have such a progressive, caring and involved nursing staff,” says Todd A. Crandall, superintendent of Silver Creek schools. “In addition to the day-to-day care our nurses provide to students, all of us on staff also benefit from the nurses’ emphasis on wellness and healthy lifestyles. We couldn’t be prouder of or more happy for Mrs. Johnson.”
Nurse Johnson and Deputy Johnson have four grown sons and two cherished granddaughters. They enjoy hobbies of furniture restoration, kayaking, landscaping, and camping.