LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Deb Herrmann

Position: School Nurse
School: Marshall High School
School District: Marshall Public Schools
City, State: Marshall, MN

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Deb Herrmann was nominated by Anna Sonday, who submitted the below letter written by Gina Webb.

"It is with much excitement and delight to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Deb Herrmann, who is the Marshall High School Licensed School Nurse. I have known Deb for over four years and have job shared with her for two years at the high school level.

Deb has been a mentor and great co-worker for the four years I have known her. From the start, Deb was an excellent leader who guided me in my school nursing experience. She was always available and willing to answer questions. She never thought a question was too simple or not relevant. If she did not know the answer right away, she would respond back with resources and information supporting her answer. Deb not only guided me in becoming a school nurse, but she has done the same for others, time and time again. She has been in the school district for many years mentoring nurses and staff. When asked if she ever became tired of orienting new school nurses she stated, 'No. I love to review and learn, and every time I teach something, I learn something new myself.' Deb displays characteristic of a lifelong learner.

This past year, she mentored two brand new school nurses in the middle of a pandemic. She covered for the school nurse at the middle school until they were able to start, which was a month into the school year. This meant she worked many days, nights, and weekends of overtime, rarely asking for overtime pay, if ever, and always without complaint.  While working overtime and orienting two brand new nurses, she also stayed up to date with the ever-changing and evolving COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. As if this was not enough, she also agreed to orient a local nursing student who needed clinical hours. Deb is always agreeing to orient and lead in educating local nursing students.

Deb was our advocate and leader in dealing with the pandemic. She continually offered her expertise and guidance when the administration came to the school nurses. She created a spreadsheet in the early weeks of COVID to track contacts and positive students or staff. Deb not only guided the school nurses, but the entire school community. She volunteered and ran a live district-wide Zoom meeting educating, explaining, and answering questions regarding the pandemic. She started the year by explaining and educating, and ended the school year coordinating a vaccination clinic for students at the high school. Deb found times during school hours for students to receive the vaccine after receiving permission from their guardians. This was completed during the last few weeks of school, thus instilling the importance of health care to students and families.

Deb did an outstanding job of collaborating with local and public health personnel. Many weekends and evenings were spent talking to the Minnesota Department of Health, local public health, and families regarding COVID19.  She designed an email with attachments to send to families after personally calling them to explain the school’s guidelines. Deb is an expert at collaborating between schools, clinics, doctors, and therapists. Deb coordinated meetings with our Student Parent Connectors so they could help their families understand the school’s guidance. She also advocated for them to receive and distribute thermometers for families who did not have one in the home.

Deb continually goes above and beyond in the continuum of care regarding students and staff. She is like a case manager, counselor, advocate, and school nurse in one. She helps EL students find health care providers or make appointments. Deb advocates for all students to have access to care within the school and within the community. She is the go-to person in the district for helping students get vision exams or glasses, using resources to help pay and provide care. She helps coordinate Christmas gift drives for low-income families at the high school. Deb coordinates with staff and administrators to identify families who are in need. Then, she coordinates items they need to help them have a wonderful Christmas. She is also the leader of yellow ribbon at the high school.

Deb is not only an outstanding school nurse, but someone who's extremely involved in volunteer work within our small community. She balances school nursing with volunteer work and helps run her family's ranch in South Dakota. Deb is an overall expert school nurse who is constantly driven and dedicated to what she does. She is kindhearted, a true selfless leader, highly-driven, extremely knowledgeable in many fields, and someone never seems to stop. We often call her the Energizer bunny. She has impacted and changed so many lives in our school and community."

Comments (13)

Lawrence D Johnson Posted 20 days ago

Deb has always gone the extra mile to help others. Her commitment to the greater community of Marshall shows every day with her tireless efforts and volunteerism.

Tara Plante Posted 21 days ago

Deb Herrmann has been an instrumental board member, volunteer, advocate, & voice for Prairie Home Hospice and Community Care for many years. I am also honored to call her a friend of mine. Deb is just the type of woman that you "want in your corner" when you work for a community driven non-profit healthcare organization. Deb is always more than willing to help with anything that needs to be done at PHH. From cooking meals at Hospice Homes when needed, to co-chairing and working annual fundraising events, to helping with whatever projects need to be done. She is just always there whenever she is needed. Volunteerism and community support are the reasons that our organization is what it is today, and Deb Herrmann embodies those traits so perfectly. Individuals like Deb are rare, and so vital to the success of organizations like ours. I've also had the privilege of seeing Deb in her work space, with her students, advocating and educating with and for them. Her huge heart is the best part about her. Anyone can witness that within minutes of meeting her. She wholeheartedly deserves the title of "Life Changer".

Karen Sweetland Posted 21 days ago

I know Deb from being in a small group of women with me called, Friends in Service. We rely heavily on Deb for ideas on how we can help folks in the Marshall area. She shares ideas and is a leader in implementing them. Deb is also an outstanding member of the Marshall Community. She serves on many different boards and is always ready to do more than her share. She is first to volunteer and always has such an upbeat attitude. She is truly a life changer.

Carol Kruger Posted 21 days ago

I too agree with every positive word that has been previously written about this lady who always finds time and kind words for everyone. I know her outside of the school setting in a small social service group. She is the one person we can count on to bring to our group the best ideas of where or what we as a group can be doing to be reaching out to someone or some group that is in real need that no one else in our community is funding or supporting.

Robert Hennen DC Posted 22 days ago

The letter cannot be stated any better than it has already been. Deb has been a wonderful person in all of the different roles she has had in the community. But know overall that every time you come into contact with her you will feel respected and valued. She continues to give from what is a seemingly endless source and we are grateful that she has chosen Marshall MN to practice a life that truly deserves the title of "Lifechanger of the Year".

Lauren Mellenthin Posted 22 days ago

Deb is an outstanding leader in everything that she does. She wants to help anyone and everyone, no matter what the situation is. When I was in high school 10+ years ago, Deb always was there for guidance and support for students. She came to work everyday throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to try to help as best as she can. In some of the toughest situations, she leads with a positive mind and outlook. Very grateful for all of her hard work.

Erin Jensen Posted 22 days ago

Deb exemplifies the true meaning of a care giver, not only in the school district but in the community and her home. If there is a question Deb doesn't know she will find out, if she can't help with something she will find someone that will. Her love and compassion can be seen and felt. There is nothing this girl cannot do and will not strive to do if it's to better the life of one person. If we could clone Deb, just think what this world could look like.

Holly Knudson Posted 23 days ago

Love her, she is everything you want in every situation Precise, accurate and she loves kids. And they know it .. .

Nicole Jans Posted 30 days ago

I have had the opportunity to work with Deb at Marshall High School throughout the past ten years. From my first interactions with Deb, it was evident that she was passionate about helping the students in our school. Deb consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that each student’s entire health and well-being is cared for. In my role as a special education teacher, I collaborate with Deb often in order to meet the various needs of my students. Deb has not only assisted with the day-to-day medical needs that arise throughout the school year, but she also assists with finding resources to support students in all areas of life. Deb has helped foster connections for students with various transition supports and independent living resources so that students are able to develop skills to live independently upon graduation from high school. Deb is always willing to attend IEP meetings and meet with families in order to share these resources, as well as manage medical diagnosis information. Deb is an incredible nurse, teacher, and advocate for her students. She is very deserving of the title, "Lifechanger of the Year."

Erin Moline Posted 1 months ago

I 100% completely agree with everything that Gina Webb mentioned in her letter above. I have known Deb for close to 32 years. During that time I've went to school with her kids, she was my basketball coach in middle school, my school nurse while I was in high school & now I am privileged to call her a co-worker and friend. Deb was my mentor last year when I was hired to help with Covid in the nurse office throughout our school district. Deb is our go-to person for anything that we need help with in the nurse office and almost all of the time she has the answers. If she doesn't have an answer, she always follows up and finds the answer. Her knowledge in every aspect of her job amazes me. I honestly don't know how she finds enough hours in the day to do everything she does. She is always more than ready and willing to help with anything that needs to be done. Deb truly cares about all the students in advocating for them and making sure they get the help they need, whether that help is in or out of school. Students come to the office looking for Deb because she always has a listening ear for them. She spends countless hours helping those who need help, guidance and support wherever it is needed. Deb was recently named our community 'Hospice Hero' for Prairie Home Hospice & Community Care. She has been an instrumental board member, volunteer, advocate & voice for Prairie Home Hospice for many years. The impact Deb has had on our school and community makes her so deserving of this award and so much more.

Krista Bjella Posted 1 months ago

Deb works so hard to meet the needs of all of our students. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis to connect with students, address their overall health needs and ensure they have successful days at school. She is a professional whose knowledge and passion for school nursing is like no other! Her impact continues in her volunteer work in the community, specifically with Prairie Home Hospice. She will no double have a lasting impact on our community for years to come!

Kathy Becker Posted 1 months ago

I agree with everything that was written by Gina Webb above 100%. I was one of the new school nurses Deb orientated last year during the pandemic. I have been a nurse for many years in various roles but was never a school nurse which was entirely new world. Deb was right there to orientate, during the summer time so I could be ready to go for the school year. Deb would take my calls at any time with any question and as stated above if she didn't know the answer she would research it and get right back to me with the answer. She was so influential in so many aspects of life and has touched so many people. Deb mentored me in dealing with the two student populations that I was the nurses for from 3rd and 4th grade and then the alternative high school kids grades 9th-12th. If a student was transitioning from the high school to the alternative high school Deb would call to ensure I understood the student so I could have a care for them at the alternative high school. Deb had so much compassion and caring for all these students, her #1 priority was always ensuring the student and their needs were met with whatever it took. She has the innate ability to care, offer guidance, but yet be firm with this students and co-workers to make sure the schools and community were a safe space for everyone to come to every day. I have worked with many people over my years and Deb and the impact she made on me and my career in one year is unexplainable. She is the most deserving of this award, that there are not enough words to explain everything she does and how she does it effortlessly and without complaint. She truly is an Energizer bunny in everything she does.

Amanda Pederson Posted 1 months ago

Deb has been a staple in the education of countless students at MPS. Currently, I have the opportunity to work with Deb as I am one of the school administrators, however I also attended high school at MPS and Deb was my school nurse. Then, and still today, Deb cares deeply about the students and helping them to achieve their goals and experience academic success. She works to help determine the route cause of students needs and then helps in the planning and implementation of supports and interventions. She knows the community well and has a plethora of resources to support our families. She is changing lives every day as a school nurse and is highly deserving of this award.