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2023 Substitute Educator of the Year:
Support Staff - School Nurse
North Kansas City School District
To honor the important work of our employees, we recognize outstanding substitute teachers, paraeducators, and support staff through our annual Substitute Educator of the Year program. Patricia Phillips, a substitute nurse in the North Kansas City School District, is the winner of our 2023 Substitute Educator of the Year award in the Support Staff category.
She's been married 52 years and is very proud of her three children and six grandchildren.
In this Q&A, Patricia shares why she chose to work in education.
Why did you want to become a school nurse?
I worked in the school setting for 20 years after spending 20 years in the hospital setting. I've now been a substitute for 12 years. Recently, I received a certificate from the state of Missouri for 50 years of service in the Nursing field.
I became a substitute nurse so that I was able to take care of one of my grandsons who had health issues and couldn't go to daycare. One of the benefits of being a substitute nurse is being able to choose the dates you work, therefore I was able to coordinate my schedule with my daughters work schedule, and take care of him until he was able to go to school.
What do you enjoy the most about being a substitute nurse?
Being the nurse you have the opportunity to help children and teens in all kinds of situations. It might be chronic health issues, emergency situations or emotional issues. You have to have a lot of confidence in your assessment skills because most of the time you are working alone. But also know when it's time to reach out for help.
What colleagues say about Patricia.
“We have been able to call on her several times for the last several years for her to come and sub in our health rooms both in a long-term capacity and just on the fly. It's super important that you have someone that you trust and that know you know it's going to do a great job in your absence. We never ever waver in that have we always know that she's going to be there and she's going to do a great job and she goes above and beyond to meet the needs of the students and staff.”
– Cindy Dunkin, school nurse at North Kansas City High School
“Pat is my first go-to regarding substitute school nursing for my buildings. She is dependable, autonomous, collaborative, empathetic, caring, thoughtful, and thorough. Her constant and genuine smile is welcoming and with that, she creates a sense of confidence and safety for students- and staff. She brings an attitude of gratitude and a contagious positive energy when she is with us.”
– Shannon Tilsworth, RN at North Kansas City Schools
Congratulations, Patricia Phillips!
"Patricia is a true representative of the high-quality educators Kelly Education provides to its partner schools each day. She is dedicated to ensuring the needs of each student are met. We are proud to recognize her commitment with this honor,” said Nicola Soares, President of Kelly Education.
As one of four Substitute Educator of the Year winners, Patricia will receive a $5,000 bonus from Kelly Education, as well as $1,500 donated on her behalf to North Kansas City High School.
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