Pasco school nurse is state's School Nurse of the Year

By Leah Masuda, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, January 27, 2017, 5:16 PM EST

Margaret Polk isn’t your average school nurse.

  • Margaret Polk is new Florida's School Nurse of the Year
  • She's worked in Pasco schools for nearly 30 years

“It’s not what most people think of, they usually think of a school nurse in doing the bumps, and band aids, and boo boos,” Polk said.

She does much more than that for her kids, with constant training in all aspects of health, from mental health down to a student’s basic needs.

Now, the Pasco County school nurse has been honored with the title of Florida’s School Nurse of the Year.

“She comes here every day, she does her typical job as the school nurse and does it amazingly," Pasco High School assistant principal Ryan Brady said. "And then after that’s done, she does things like helping students with backpacks, helps them get food, solicits donations."

She’s been the school nurse at Pasco High and James Irvin Education Center for 26 years. Her clinic averages around 40 students a day. She even makes home visists.

Polk also keeps a watchful eye on each student who comes in.

“I can just see them come in and out," Polk said. "I’m going, 'I saw that kid again; let’s pull her in and see what’s going on, talk to her a little bit more.' ”

The award winning nurse has grown relationships with hundreds of kids over the years — Polk can’t even fit all their photos on her collage she has in her office.

“She’s really caring and really loving to just about everybody, and she really does mean a lot to me,” student Andrew Vail said.

Polk will be in Orlando on Friday to receive the honor at the Florida Association of School Nurses annual conference.