LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Tracy Pinkham

Position: School Nurse
School: Rumford Elementary School
School District: RSU 10 Western Foothills
City, State: Rumford, ME

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Tracy Pinkham was nominated by her principal, Jill Bartash.

When you think of people at a school who make a difference for kids, you typically think of the teachers. At Rumford Elementary School, there's another person in the school community who is a Life Changer: school nurse Tracy Pinkham! She goes way above and beyond to make sure her students are cared for so they can learn and grow.

For more than seven years, Ms. Pinkham has supported families by making sure no one is hungry. Initially, she helped run the food pantry. She realized the pantry wasn't reaching every family who needed help, so she revised the initiative and created a weekend backpack program in order to get food directly to the students who needed it. She and her colleague order the food, take delivery, and pack about 35 bags a week! Anytime a family requests food, Ms. Pinkham provides them with an additional bag. In a school with poverty approaching 90%, she provides a safety net for hungry families.

Ms. Pinkham keeps students healthy through the services she brings to them. She organizes fluoride varnishes twice a year to keep kids’ teeth strong, and she also provides sealants for some grades. Additionally, she organizes the Lion’s Club, which performs a vision screening on all students. With these two programs in place, families are able to receive additional dental services, and several students were able to get the glasses they needed.

Ms. Pinkham has the utmost respect and compassion for kids and families. She is diligent about protecting their dignity across all situations. Many of her students struggle to bathe and wash clothes consistently. Because of this, Ms. Pinkham gives students the opportunity to shower at school and to put on clean clothes, while washing the students’ clothes for the next day. She has also been known to personally buy additional clothing for students.

As a member of the Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education (AWARE) Team, Ms. Pinkham leads her colleagues to think about how students’ health and wellness benefit their learning and living. She always keeps these two things inextricably linked.

"Our school community is incredibly fortunate to have such a leader in the profession as our very own," said Bartash. "Tracy ensures students’ health at school goes far beyond band-aids and boo-boos!"



Comments (20)


Vicki Amoroso Posted 9 months ago

Tracy is a true professional. She is responsible for many elementary students and deals with anything from scraped knees to lice to dispensing of medication during school to those students who need it. She has to deal with parents in a variety of situations--some not so pleasant. Tracy is also a great resource to the staff at her schools and is always willing to share her expertise. Best of luck, Tracy! You deserve this honor!

Marie Posted 10 months ago

Tracy handles any situation with ease. She is professional at all times and is very kind and patient with the children at RES??

Jane Gaudette Posted 10 months ago

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tracy Pinkham for many years. Tracy is such a compassionate and caring person both in school and out of school! She puts the needs of others always before herself! ??

Heather Sorensen Posted 10 months ago

I’ve watched her first hand with the kiddos years ago when I would bring the mail into the school . Loving and attentive. So lucky to have her as the school nurse . And she is also a beautiful human being ??

Judy Broomhall Posted 10 months ago

I have known Tracy since she was a little girl. She is kind and loving. A very tight knit family and I have watched her with children at school. You can tell they love her. Congratulations Tracy

Lynn Posted 10 months ago

"Joy is a sign of generosity. When you are full of joy, you move faster and you want to go about doing good to everyone." Tracy is full of joy and makes everyone feel loved and cared for. She is the most generous person and does good to everyone around her. RES staff, students, and families are so fortunate to have her as our nurse/caretaker. We love you, Tracy!

Karen Ellis Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations Tracy on this well deserved nomination . Thanks for all you do for our children and our community. The many Blessings that you send will be returned in the end. You are an Inspiration, and your dedication which goes far beyond your job description is very much appreciated.

Krystal Posted 10 months ago

God Bless this woman. She truly is an angel among us especially for the youth and they are our future.

Chris Decker Posted 10 months ago

I have worked with Tracy, at first on the district Wellness team and then later as a leader in her building. She is everything her principal says she is and then some. She knows the families of the district and has their first and foremost interest at heart. Thanks to her, the school has a very successful food pantry. Also thanks to her, students have access to outerwear clothes like hats, mittens, and jackets. Rumford Elementary School and the town of Rumford is a much better place in large part because of her. This award could not happen to a more deserving person.

Carol Violette Posted 10 months ago

Mrs. Pinkham was so very kind and thoughtful helping our granddaughter when she was in school! I will never ever forget our sincere conversations??The Best School Nurse Ever??She was always helpful and decadents and caring??

Eileen Broderick Posted 10 months ago

Tracy supports students and families in countless ways. She also models literacy activities like reading aloud and helping with Bookfairs.

Aunt Janice Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations Tracy. Such a well deserved recognition for all you do for our children. I am so proud of you. Love, Aunt Janice.

Ashley Derouche Posted 10 months ago

So happy to see this. Could not have happened to a better person. Mrs Pinkham has a heart of gold and wants nothing but the best for the students. For some kids school is a safe outlet and it’s to nice to know they WILL have what they need regardless of their situation when they go to school. Thanks for all you do Mrs Pinkham. Well deserved.

Kayla Coulombe Posted 10 months ago

Mrs. Pinkham goes above and beyond each day for our school community. She is always lending a helping hand to us teachers and treats our families like her own! Our school nurse makes a HUGE impact in the lives of our students, each and every day!

Mary Gallant Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations! Well deserved!

Abbey Pinkham Posted 10 months ago

I watch Tracy change lives everyday. Most days Tracy treats medical injuries and conditions but everyday I witness Tracy treat each and every child she sees with love and compassion. Mrs. Pinkham is a role model to many, she inspires others to do good each day. Tracy is one of the most deserving people I know to be nominated for this award.

Linda woods Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations! Those students are so lucky to have you!

Kimberly Bernard Posted 10 months ago

So proud to be your sister! I’ve always looked up to you and your dedication to your kiddos! ??

Chelsi Emery Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations Tracy! Your such a vital part in the RES family and I honestly feel such a relief knowing that if my kids ever get hurt or are sick, your the one they can count on to take care of them and call mom. I'll never forget your worry and concern over my daughter when she broke her arms. You truly care for your students. Thank you!!

Melissa Posted 10 months ago

Tracy is one of the kindest, understanding people I’ve ever known. She has a heart of gold. She is very deserving to be considered a life changer of the year. The children are blessed to have such a caring school nurse, we could use more like her!