Meet Heather Zess: School Nurse By Day, PTO Mom By Night 
Nurse Heather Zess at Briar Middle School

There is a saying that hangs in the Meadowlawn Intermediate School nurse’s office: “A student who presents to the clinic always has some need to be met. The challenge is identifying their need.”

School Nurse Heather Zess gets it. She hears all sorts of complaints of aches and pains from students, she says. Sometimes, there’s more to the “ache” than what they say.

“The pains are always real,” Nurse Heather says. Maybe they didn’t get a good night sleep and overslept. Maybe they have other things on their minds. Maybe they’re just having a bad day. But they always get Nurse Heather’s attention to find out what’s really wrong. And, yes, there are times when a student does, indeed, have a stomach ache and, well, you know what can happen next.

As a kid, Nurse Heather saw herself being a nurse or a special education teacher when she grew up. Funny how things work out: She’s been a school nurse with Perkins Schools for nearly six years, and currently splits her time between Meadowlawn and Briar Middle School. And she seems quite happy with her career choice.

“I couldn’t have been a teacher,” Nurse Heather says. “I don’t know how teachers do it every day.” She prefers to get to know the children in a one-on-one setting to that of, say, a classroom of 20-some kids. The individual time with students enables her to build relationships with the children and their families.

“My favorite part of this job is interacting with the students,” Nurse Heather says. “Work doesn’t feel like work when I’m able to interact in a positive way.”

Nurse Heather knows the Perkins Local School District well. She is the second generation in her family to graduate from Perkins Schools. She and her family still live in Perkins Township. She and her husband, Jason, have three kids: Max, a third-grader at Meadowlawn, Cal, a kindergartner at Furry, and a step-daughter, Alexis, who is a junior at Kent State University.

“This is where I grew up,” Nurse Heather says. “When you live in the community, you want to help the kids.”

And, while by day students see her at Meadowlawn Intermediate School, parents and teachers know her as the PTO mom at Furry Elementary.

Fun Fact about Nurse Heather: 
“I’m a nerd. I like documentaries on Netflix.”

Posted by j_stacklin On 27 February, 2019 at 10:45 AM