Position: School Nurse for COVID Testing
School: Meridian Schools
School District: Meridian Schools
City, State: Sanford, MI
Music that Describes Lynette
Lynette Houk was nominated by her spouse, Erik Houk.
Mrs. Houk first stepped out of her role as a "stay-at-home" mother, where she served as a classroom helper, volunteer, basketball coach to both of her children, and soccer mom, to serve her community as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). She always looks for an opportunity to help those in need and seeks to lift others up. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit her community, she followed the statistics closely, especially among the schools, and immediately began sending out resumes to the local school districts. This fall, the school district she and her family reside in was looking for a nurse to assist with COVID testing and contact tracing. Mrs. Houk jumped at the opportunity and was offered the position.
Mrs. Houk spends her days testing children from preschool to high school, as well as various staff members as needed. She affectionately refers to the preschool and early elementary students as "the littles." Mrs. Houk has a gift for putting people of all ages at ease, especially "the littles." For those who are apprehensive, she provides Q-tips to play with and a plastic nose to "swab." Through giggles, they agree to allow Mrs. Houk to swab their noses, often laughing while she does. She even teaches some to swab themselves. Parents have told Mrs. Houk that their children, who were once afraid and tearful before their morning test, are now actually looking forward to testing, skipping into the building, and requesting "Nurse Lynette."
Along with testing is the inevitable contact tracing. This involves tedious record keeping and many phone calls, sometimes after school hours from home. Luckily, Mrs. Houk has other staff who assist with testing and contact tracing, and she speaks highly of them. She loves her new job and the people she works with, especially the students.
"I know that Lynette's work ethic, morals, and professionalism are evident to both staff and students alike. This type of role model is something we all need during these challenging times. Her smile and warm, welcoming nature is evident, even behind a mask. I'm certain that her positive impact on the students will lead some to pursue a career in nursing," said Mr. Houk. "I have known Lynette for over 25 years, and have been married to her for over 22. The fact that she doesn't like attention, recognition, or expect accolades of any type, makes her a LifeChanger. She has positively changed my life, our children's lives, and now, the lives of the students and staff in the Meridian School District."