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Locals mingle with leaders during visit to Washington
2 Locals in Wash pic
Jeannie Edwards, district school nurse coordinator for Dawson County, and Will Wade, vice chairman of the local school board, bumped into each other on Capitol Hill earlier this month. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

Two local educators visited the nation’s capital earlier this month, where they represented Dawson County on a number of school-related issues.


Jeannie Edwards, the district school nurse coordinator for Dawson County, went to Washington D.C. for a biannual meeting of the National Association for School Nurses.


School board member Will Wade was there, because he had been appointed by the Georgia School Board Association to represent the 9th Congressional District at a National School Board Association event.


Edwards and Wade had no clue the other was there until they just about bumped into each other at Capitol Hill.


“I was there for five minutes, and I’m walking down the sidewalk and somebody says, ‘Nurse Jeannie, what are you doing here?’” Edwards said. “Imagine that, two Dawsonville folks in our nation’s capital at the exact same time.”


Wade said it was nice seeing a familiar face so far from home.


“It was quite a surprise,” said Wade, who was a legislative liaison for Dawson County as he spoke with U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.


“The trip was in order to discuss education issues facing all states over the next 12 months,” Wade said. “A majority of it had to do with funding, because most states are in funding crises.”


Wade was among 20 school board members from across the state meeting with the senators.


Wade said as a “very patriotic person ... seeing some of the buildings and the history of our country was amazing.


“I’ve been there a few times, but it’s always a thrill to go,” he said.


Edwards has also been to Washington D.C. several times, as a state director for the Georgia Association for School Nurses.


It was the year’s first board meeting for the National Association of School Nurses, with whom Edwards serves on several committees and task forces.

Edwards also visited with national delegation while in the capital.


“I feel like I’ve gotten to know our congressmen and women in Washington, and I feel like I’ve been able to bring to them the personal experience of the needs of our children in our schools,” she said.


“I feel like they really listen to me and value our positions as school nurses and helping our kids to be successful in school and to increase their academic achievement. I feel like we’re making a lot of headway with school nursing funding.”