On Friday, May 24, Milford Middle School Nurse Kim Cole was awarded the title of All-Star Educator of the month. The award, which is given in partnership by the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) and country radio station WDSD, recognizes non-teachers within schools that make a difference in students’ lives. Pam Nichols, Director of Communications for DSEA, believes that recognition on non-teachers within schools helps the community understand that there is a collective effort by many professionals that makes up a child’s education.
“Every teacher knows that a school will not run without a support team, they are often forgotten,” commented Nichols. “It is important for the public, policy makers and legislators to remember these people.”
School Nurse Kim Cole was nominated for the honor of All-Star Educator of the month by Melanie Subers, mother of Milford Middle School student Jaxson Subers. Melanie’s son experienced severe asthma, homebound for three months and could not attend school. When Jaxson was healthy enough to return, Melanie was extremely worried about an asthma attack occurring during his classes and the possible outcomes if help did not arrive on time.
“I rely heavily on Jaxson to attend class safely, [Mrs. Cole] is checking up on him constantly and calling me with updates,” writes Melanie Jaxson in her nominating letter. “She takes the time and makes the effort during her day to make sure that he is not wheezing or out of breathe. Mrs. Cole goes above and beyond so that my child can learn safely.”
Working in Emergency Care facilities including Milford Memorial Hospital and Beebe Medical Center for over 25 years, Cole came to the Milford School District in 2009 with hands-on experience in the medical field. This work led her to create a student organization at the Milford Middle School known as the Nightingales. Through this group, Mrs. Cole allows students that are interested in the medical field to learn first aid skills, in a mock hospital setting, that will set the foundation for potential future careers.
“We need to spark interest in the nursing field at an early age,” commented Cole. “There will be a true deficit in the medical field in our country in the near future and some real opportunities for these students. We need to start them early and start grooming them for a career in the medical industry.” This is particularly true in Sussex County, Delaware where the over 55 population is projected to grow to over 50% of the total population in the next 10 years.
With the Milford Middle School closing next year, Mrs. Cole is expected to transfer to the Milford Central Academy, moving up with her current students. She hopes to keep the Nightingale program alive for young students, preparing them for college and beyond.