LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Adrienne Gunter

Position: District Nurse
School: West Carroll Parish School Board
School District: West Carroll Parish School Board
City, State: Oak Grove, LA

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Adrienne Gunter was nominated by her colleague, Penny Hale.

In a time of extreme uncertainty, one woman has worked above and beyond to take care of an entire district of students and school staff. Mrs. Gunter has worked as the registered district nurse for over 15 years in West Carroll Parish. Before COVID-19 hit the area, she would circulate throughout the five schools in her district to aide in checking student wellness. Whether she's giving medications, taking blood pressure, training staff members to use portable defibrillators, or monitoring a number of injuries or ailments, she has always taken great care in her job. 

Throughout the last year and a half of COVID-19 being present, Mrs. Gunter has worked endlessly to ensure the health and safety of her school family. As the main nurse for the school system, she has taken on the astounding role of being the health and safety leader. During the summer of 2020, Mrs. Gunter researched data about the virus and worked with the school superintendent and a local doctor to provide a video for the district answering questions and explaining everything families and employees would need to know to prepare for the school year.

As the 2020-2021 school year began, West Carroll Parish started with full in-person learning unless families chose to put their children in a virtual academy. With over 75% of the families choosing to stay in person, any symptom that could be considered COVID was looked at by Mrs. Gunter. The district's principals would contact Mrs. Gunter throughout the day to inform her of students who had tested positive or were being sent home to be checked. As the nurse, she would then have to contact the students' families and discuss their options. Once this was handled, she would get back in touch with the students' respective schools to discuss close contacts. This process could last well into the night as parents were tracked down to discuss options. Throughout a student's quarantine, Mrs. Gunter would monitor each student with COVID and their close contacts to see how they were doing.

Mrs. Gunter has continued this process for the entire 2020-2021 school year and the first nine weeks of this school year. She spends days and nights during the week (along with weekends) making calls to inform families of their best options for safety during this trying time.

"I feel like Mrs. Gunter has become a LifeChanger in our community," said Hale. "With the health of our five schools consistently on her mind, she has shown what an amazing individual she is to work above and beyond the typical school day. Mrs. Gunter exemplifies true compassion for our student body, and she always has a soft smile and kind words to guide us through this trying time."