Commemorating National School Nurse Day today, the Highmark Foundation announced that Penn-Trafford High School nurse, Lisa Popovich, is one of five winners of its sixth annual Advancing Excellence in School Nursing Awards. The awards were created to honor and recognize the important role that school nurses play in keeping children healthy. Award winners each receive $1,500 to use for professional development or health-related programs at their respective schools.
Nurse Popovich has received Highmark’s “Spirit of the Year” award which was judged on the following criteria: serving as a role model and displaying a love for the school nursing profession; compassion and caring for students, staff and families; and a willingness to learn and advance the school nursing profession.
“The expanding role of our school nurses is so important to our children’s health and safety. The skills school nurses demonstrate on a daily basis are beyond impressive,” said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. “The challenges facing school nurses have never been greater and these five extraordinary school nurses go above and beyond for the students in their care. On behalf of the Highmark Foundation we are proud to recognize their efforts.”
Nurse Popovich has worked for the Penn-Trafford School District since 2014 but her involvement in the schools as a volunteer goes far beyond her employment date. As a district parent in 2006, Lisa was instrumental in the award of a $300,000 grant for a “Boundless Playground” at McCullough Elementary School where her children attended. She served as PTO president at both McCullough Elementary and Penn Middle Schools.
“It is our good fortune to have Lisa on our staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Matthew Harris. “Her tireless care for the well-being of our students, her deep pride and school spirit, her kind and nurturing heart and her dedication to the community that she serves are some of her priceless qualities.”
Lisa goes above and beyond her required nursing duties. She has taken on the time-consuming responsibility of Faculty Advisor for the High School’s “Community Action Program (CAP)” which is a thriving community service club consisting of 320 members. CAP carries out volunteer projects ranging from delivering food for the Westmoreland County Food Bank to pairing up with special needs children for field trips.
Lisa is also one of the chairs of Penn-Trafford’s “Backpacks-To-Go” program, which is now in its fifth year of providing supplemental weekend nutrition for needy children in our school district.
Penn-Trafford would like to recognize and thank Nurse Popovich along with all of our nurses who provide care for the entire school district and support students in times of crisis.