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Head school nurse wins state award
3. Jeannie Edwards award pic
Dawson County Schools Lead Nurse Jeannie Edwards, center, was awarded the Administrator of the Year award by the Georgia Association of School Nurses during their annual conference in Savannah last weekend. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

Dawson County Schools Lead School Nurse Jeannie Edwards said she got quite the surprise during an annual nurses' conference in Savannah.

Edwards was presented with the Administrator of the Year award by the Georgia Association of School Nurses during their annual conference in Savannah last weekend.

"I was very honored and it meant so much to me because the people that I have worked with over the years nominated me for this," she said.

In order to be considered by the association, award candidates must be nominated.

"One of the school nurses that I worked with nominated me, along with the nurse coordinator for Hall and Wayne counties," Edwards said.

A committee of school nurses reviews the nominations based on their nursing research, community and legislative involvement and different programs created.

Edwards, who is in her 25th year in school nursing, has created several programs for the county, including county-wide school clinics and raising awareness of cardiac arrest and placing defibrillators on school campuses.

She has also served as the president, secretary and state director of the Georgia Association of School Nurses, as well as a state director of the national association.

"The [defibrillators] became important to me, after my first year of nursing, when a child died at Robinson Elementary due to sudden cardiac arrest. I was there immediately ... but if we had a defibrillator, we might have been able to save that child's life," she said.

The Georgia Association of School Nurses is an organization that supports the placement of a nurse in every school in Georgia.

"I feel like, during these tough economic times, one of the most important things legislators can do to improve the health and well-being of our children is to make sure that they have access to a school nurse," Edwards said. "School nurses are a direct link to the community health resources."