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School Nurses: 134 Years of Experience (And Counting)

Julie Pileggi Challenger Nurse 2022-23

It’s National School Nurse Day, and an excellent opportunity to thank the nurses who care for our students and staff throughout the school year! Even before COVID, our nurses and health room specialists have helped students with an ever-expanding list of health concerns from mild issues to serious conditions. Without these teams, many of our students could not safely access their education.  

“Our nurses reach out to families proactively to ensure they have information and resources to make life easier and healthier.  I am incredibly proud to be a part of this team, and I'm very excited for what we can accomplish together in the future,” said Laura Carmichael, the district’s Director of Health Services.  

Collectively, our school nurses have an astounding 134 years of experience in school nursing, 66 years of experience in medical and surgical units, 26 years of experience in public health work, 21 years of experience in cardiology, 19 years of experience in pediatrics, 19 years of experience in labor and delivery. Additionally, team members have nursing experience in neuro-endocrinology, dermatology, wound care, gastrointestinal, operating room nursing, blood bank nursing, eating disorder nursing, infusion, rehab, sexual assault unit, ophthalmology, parent education, neonatal intensive care unit, nursing informatics, operations management and more.

“I am honored to be working alongside all the amazing school nurses at ISD, and since I joined this group in December of 2022, I have been continually impressed by the dedication and compassion of the nurses to the Issaquah students and families. Happy National School Nurse Day!" Carmichael said. 

She asked our nurses to share a bit about their favorite parts of school nursing. Here are a few highlights from their answers:  

  • "Building relationships with students and connecting with community."  
  • "Working with the students and the variety of care you get to provide -- you never know what will walk through the door!"  
    "I love building relationships with the kids, particularly those who need some extra attention and kindness."  
  • "Working on an ongoing basis with students with diabetes to help them learn to manage their disease and help them understand aspects of their care they didn't fully understand. This enables them to understand how all pieces of their care fit together, and enables them to take proper care of themselves and have a long life with as few long-term complications as possible." 
  • "Making kids smile and feel better. Also, being able to provide clothing/other needs for families!"  
  • "School nursing is constantly evolving with changes in procedures, processes and education of students. There is the opportunity to connect with students and staff, making a difference every day."  
  •  "The kids!" 

Thank you, school nurses! 

Above: Julie Pileggi from Challenger

Nurse Taimay Jones Discovery Elementary 2022-23

Taimay Jones, Discovery Elementary School


Nurse Terry Ostendorf PCMS 2022-23

Terry Ostendorf, Pacific Cascade Middle School


Marigrace Lockwood IHS Nurse 2022-23

Marigrace Lockwood, Issaquah High School


Jamie Heintz Newcastle Nurse 2022-23

Jamie Heintz, Newcastle Elementary School


Lindsay Roberts Apollo Nurse 2022-23

Lindsay Roberts, Apollo Elementary School


Kerri Whitworth BLMS Nurse 2022-23

Kerri Whitworth, Beaver Lake Middle School


Nina O'Brien MMS Nurse 2022-23

Nina O'Brien, Maywood Middle School


Laura Carmichael District Health Services Director 2022-23

Laura Carmichael, District Director of Health Services


Danielle Kolesnikov Cougar Ridge Nurse 2022-23

Danielle Kolesnikov, Cougar Ridge Elementary School


Kim Rocco Sunny Hills Nurse 2022-23

Kim Rocco, Sunny Hills Elementary School


Jennie Harkestad Liberty and Maple Hills Nurse 2022-23

Jennie Harkestad, Liberty High School and Maple Hills Elementary


Judy Lunde Endeavour Nurse 2022-23

Judy Lunde, Endeavour Elementary School


Eryn Belles Creekside Nurse 2022-23

Eryn Belles, Creekside Elementary School