It is National Nurses Week, and Ohio County Schools couldn’t be more appreciative of the hard work and dedication of its school nurses.
Melissa Soltesz has been a nurse in the Ohio County school system for 14 years serving at Warwood School and Steenrod and Bethlehem elementary schools. She said she has been impressed with the school system’s nurses since being hired. Soltesz said the nurses are professionals who are thoroughly committed to the students they serve.
“The caliber of nurses here is so impressive,” Soltesz said. “I truly believe we have the best group of nurses in any school system in West Virginia. I’ve been to conferences throughout the state, I’ve spoken to nurses from other school systems, and I know that our nurses are fabulous – head and shoulders above. I’m proud to be a part it.”
Ohio County Schools Special Education Director Leah Stout is the coordinator of the school system’s nursing staff. She said the nurses are exceptionally busy with each covering multiple schools. Stout said the nurses’ jobs included the daily care of students, but they are also responsible for vision screenings and classroom lessons on topics such as hygiene. Stout said nurses do daily “care calls” to ensure that students are being taken care if they do not show up for school.
“The level of care that they show the students is unmatched,” she said. “They are a pleasure to work with. Willing to go above and beyond to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students.”
Soltesz knew at age 10 that she wanted to be a nurse, and her parents supported her goal. She spent seven years as a hospital nurse, but becoming a mother made her want to become a school nurse. Soltesz said she appreciates the hours of a school nurse, and she also appreciates the support of Ohio County Schools teachers and administrators.
“I needed something more conducive to being a mom,” she said. “It has really worked out for me, and being a school nurse is so fulfilling. I love working in Ohio County Schools, and I feel blessed with the support from the principals and the board office. I think all of our nurses do.”
Photo: Ohio County Schools nurse Melissa Soltesz is shown completing a vision screening on Warwood School student Kendyl Lewis.