Devoted School Nurse Honored As Champion of Education

Devoted School Nurse Honored As Champion of Education

Margaret Short, dedicated lead school nurse of Ulster BOCES, has received the Ulster County School Boards Association (UCSBA) Distinguished Friend of Education Award. The annual award recognizes residents from the county’s school districts and Ulster BOCES for their dedication and commitment to students and schools.

Ulster BOCES District Superintendent Charles V. Khoury (Ed.D.) and Board President Barbara Carroll presented the award to Short at the UCSBA’s annual dinner on May 26 at the Best Western in Kingston.

Since 2001, Short has served as the school nurse at the Career & Technical Education Center, and has been responsible for the health and safety needs of approximately 1,000 students and more than 100 faculty and staff every day. Short is a Registered Nurse and has served as the lead nurse at Ulster BOCES for several years, as well as dedicating 14 of her summers as the health director for Camp Huntington– a camp for children and young adults with special learning and developmental needs.

 During the pandemic, Short has kept the administrative team apprised of the ever-changing requirements from the state and county departments of health, leading the team of nurses in monitoring student and staff health.

Short is being recognized for this award not because of her work at Ulster BOCES, but for her work beyond the school day, working throughout the greater Ulster County community. She freely gave her time at the many vaccination clinics, working on the frontlines of this county’s fight against the spread of the virus. She exemplified the best that this county has to offer, stepping up and stepping in to do whatever is necessary to protect the health of the people of Ulster County.

The Kingston resident says the honor was unexpected because she loves her job and describes it as “an overwhelmingly positive experience that provided her with immense professional growth.” 

She adds, “You never stop learning. I am a go-to person, not just here, but people from other buildings come to me. It makes me feel happy to be able to help them,” she explains.  Short, who is retiring in June, says it’s the people she works with and the students that she will miss the most about the job. “I always considered myself as someone who works under the radar. I was really surprised…I don’t look for attention, I just go quietly about my job.” 

Krista Barringer, president of the Ulster County School Boards Association, is full of  praise for this year’s honorees. “This annual event highlights the amazing people who go above and beyond for the students and families in Ulster County school districts,” she said. “This year is no different. Every year, the awardees leave inspired and amazed by each other. They are a tremendous group that deserves every bit of recognition.” 

Short’s fellow honorees are: Charles and Noreen Dechon, Ellenville Central School District; Claire Van Valkenburgh, Highland Central School District; Nora C. Scherer, Kingston City School District; Faith Nannini, Marlboro Central School District; Jim Tinger, New Paltz Central School District; Rob Kurnit, Onteora Central School District; Felice DiGennaro, Rondout Valley Central School District; Mike LaTourette, Saugerties Central School District; and Jamie Hoyt, Wallkill Central School District. 

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