McHenry Community High School nurse receives Lina Rogers Award from McHenry County Health Department

The McHenry County Department of Health recently announced that Nicole Class, a nurse at McHenry Community High School, as the recipient of the prestigious 2024 Lina Rogers Award for school health professionals.

The award was presented to Class on Feb. 23 during the health department's School Health Professional Symposium held at Northwestern Medicine's Huntley Hospital.

Named after Lina Rogers, a pioneer in public health nursing in the early 20th century, the annual award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding dedication to school health. Class's contributions align with the principles set by Rogers, emphasizing disease management, hygiene, and health education.

Class joined the high school staff in December of 2021 and has since served as an integral member of the student services team. Working in the health office at the Upper Campus and serving approximately 1,600 students in grades 10-12, her extensive experience in clinical settings has been a tremendous asset to students and staff alike.

Patrice Frederick, assistant principal of student services at McHenry Community High School, nominated Class for the award, recognizing her exceptional contributions to student health and well-being.

Frederick noted that Class has quickly emerged as an unofficial department leader in her short time at the school.

In addition to attending to the health office's routine needs, Class actively participates in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, Section 504 meetings (ensuring student accommodations are in place to remove barriers to learning), provides crucial medical training to administration and staff, takes the lead in medical situations, and offers support to parents with their questions and concerns. Amid these accomplishments, Class undertook additional studies to complete the school nurse certification program.

Class’s commitment extends beyond the traditional school nursing role. She played a vital role in the district planning committee, contributing to the redesign of the fourth year of the biomedical science program. Her involvement included grant writing, room design for the new CNA program, and establishing community partnerships to enhance clinical experiences for students.

Leah Pelletier, a biomedical science teacher at McHenry Community High School, praised Class's passion for nursing, noting her inspirational impact on students and her dedication to preparing them for futures in health care.

Pelletier shared, “Nicole is passionate about school nursing and nursing in general. She took time earlier this year to come speak to my Medical Residency students about her nursing career which included labor & delivery nursing and correctional care (she was a nurse in a prison!). She was inspiring to my students and was a great example for them of someone who loves what they do. She is enthusiastic about preparing our students for futures in health care by providing the opportunity for them to become CNAs. This certificate will open so many doors for students of all backgrounds and socioeconomic status to have equal opportunities toward reaching their goals. She is an above and beyond school nurse!”

The McHenry County Department of Health is thrilled to acknowledge Class for her outstanding contributions and dedication to advancing the well-being and education of students.

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