LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Patty Laur

Position: School Nurse
School: North Branch Elementary School
School District: North Branch Area Schools
City, State: North Branch, MI

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Patty Laur was nominated by her principal, Theresa Rae.

The word "LifeChanger" summarizes everything Ms. Laur stands for. She's undoubtedly a LifeChanger and an extremely service-oriented person. Five days a week, she provides time, love, and energy to students that far surpasses any "job" requirements.  As the school nurse, she spends her days providing ice packs for bruises and band-aids for the scrapes, but that is just a small window into the meaningful work she is providing for her learning community.

Ms. Laur invests a significant amount of time writing meticulous medical plans for every student in her building with a health condition. Such plans ensure the staff knows what to do in the event that a particular student has a medical emergency.  While this may seem like an insignificant task, North Branch Elementary has nearly a thousand students, making it quite an undertaking and a testament to the care and compassion Ms. Laur approaches her job with on a daily basis.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Laur spent days hand-sewing hundreds of masks for her community. She donated them to a variety of local causes, as well as school staff members, student council, and more. In an extremely difficult year, Ms. Laur willingly volunteered countless hours of her personal time to do everything from heading up the district-wide summer Health and Safety Committee to being a one-lady mask-making machine. As a leader on the Health and Safety Committee, Ms. Laur provided staff with health training and recommendations. She also researched, educated, presented, and created numerous pieces of the puzzle that made up an important part of the district’s Return to Learn Plan. 

During the 2021-2022 school year, Ms. Laur's leadership has continued. In addition to having a line of students needing her care for magical mints, she has maintained copious records, communicated with hundreds of families, and played an instrumental role in helping North Branch Area Schools weather the COVID-19 storm. She has continued to spearhead all of North Branch Elementary’s contact tracings while maintaining constant contact with administration, families, and the local health department.  

Ms. Laur is truly a service leader. The list of ways she serves staff and students continues to grow. She hand-sewed special North Branch masks for every staff member. Furthermore, she donated hundreds of masks to the North Branch High School Student Council and the North Branch Elementary Sunshine Committee to use as fundraisers for important causes.  Recently, she made puzzle piece autism masks and graciously donated all proceeds from the masks to The Autism Society of Michigan on behalf of her school district! 

Ms. Laur selflessly continues to donate endless time, supplies, and care to causes within, and on behalf of, North Branch Area Schools. This exemplifies who she is: a collaborative colleague who will do whatever it takes for students, staff, and the wider community.

"In my years as an educator, I have worked beside many wonderful people, but I have met few people with her dedication and compassion," said Rae. "In unprecedented times such as these, the Patty Laurs of the world keep all of us moving in a positive direction. They keep us centered and focused on bettering ourselves and those around us.  It continues to be an honor and a pleasure to work alongside Patty; I wholeheartedly appreciate her compassion and service. I commend her for her distinguished service and for illuminating what it truly means to be a LifeChanger."

Comments (37)

Renee Kage Posted over a year ago

Patty is absolutely amazing. I have no idea how she does all that she does. She sees so many kids on a daily basis while organizing all of their medical needs. She gives her heart and soul to helping our kids and it shows. We are truly blessed to have her!!

Donna Seeley Posted over a year ago

Well deserved Patty! Congratulations! ????

Elizabeth Haag Posted over a year ago

I don’t know of anyone more deserving than you! I truly find solace in knowing that you are there taking care of my kids when they need a bandaid, mint, hug or bubble wrap (as I always tell you -haha!) We are beyond lucky to have such an amazing and dedicated nurse to care for our kids!

Danielle Posted over a year ago

Well Deserved!! Ms. Laur was fantastic when my son underwent chemo while a student at NBE. She went above and beyond to make sure his health was a priority. And it wasn’t always easy! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our children and community. ??

Lisa Conley Posted over a year ago

Patty is the Best Nurse Ever!!! She takes care of all the kids with a caring heart! We all love seeing her smiling beautiful face throughout our day! We are so Lucky to have her in NB!!!

Fay S. Posted over a year ago

Patty is a very caring person. She deeply cares for all the students at NB. Although I do not have any children in the district I know Patty personally and know how much she cares for everyone. I have known when she was personally sick to go to school at lunchtime to take care of her diabetic students. North Branch Elementary is Blessed to have such a caring Nurse.

Sherri D. Posted over a year ago

Ms. Patty is always ready to make a positive difference no matter if its a line of 20 students out the office door, or a an empty nurses station leaving a moment for colleague laughter. I have witnessed her care for students throughout the district exactly the same as she cares for my own children in the district. Patty is always there to share the most up to date protocols. Quickly to the scene of extreme cases or the minor meltdowns she helps with situations throughout our district. From "magic mints" to anti-itch cream, I believe our students will find any excuse to visit the caring and friendly Nurse Patty. LifeChangers come in many forms, and our district celebrates Patty as a nominee for this title.

Stacey James Posted over a year ago

Patty is a wonderful person! She goes above and beyond for our little ones at the school. She treats each student with such kindness and really listens to their needs. I’m pretty sure there are kids that have a daily “belly ache” just so they can say ‘hi’ to Miss Patty:) She will work for hours without any breaks and never complains. Especially throughout this pandemic, her dedication to our North Branch family has not gone unnoticed. When she’s not busy taking temps, she is found helping out wherever she is needed! Our staff appreciates her so much and we could not ask for a better nurse for our Bronco kiddos!!

Debbie Posted over a year ago

Genuine, skilled, compassionate, dedicated and fun are only a few of many words that describe our wonderful Nurse Patty. I've seen her bring peace to, and guide, newly diagnosed diabetic children as they work at learning their new way of life. She has helped calm children with broken bones. She gives comfort to the little ones when they have accidents, helping them not to be embarrassed and getting them back on track for a great day at school. I can see she loves the students, and the students love her back. ?? I could not ask for a better school nurse to be there for my child Love you bunches Nurse Patty! We are blessed to have you!

Kierstyn Cooper Posted over a year ago

Patty is such a warm, wonderful presence in our district. She remains cool, calm and collected all day long as the students and questions flood in. She has been a great colleague to me as we navigate our first year as a nut restrictive Elementary school, bouncing questions and ideas back and forth. We are truly blessed to have her!

Melissa Swoish Posted over a year ago

Thankfully, we know our children have a life jacket: you, our school nurse Patty. In measured doses, you give parents peace of mind and keep our little ones afloat. When parents visit the office to pick up their sick child or drop off medicines, we see the stacks of paperwork. We realize that every time we sign one document, you sign many more. Even still, we know that much of your work is done below the waters, unbeknown to us. I know that most of your efforts go unrecognized and, many days, you might feel unappreciated. I hope you know your time is well-spent, and we are all so thankful for you. As a friend, a co worker, and a parent I’d like to say "Thank You." I applaud your intelligence, your patience, your time, and your compassion. Thank you for protecting our children. Your impact is felt and appreciated. We love you!

Summer Williamson Posted over a year ago

My daughter loves Mrs.Laur! She's always so helpful and kind to all the parents, staff and students. She's always going above and beyond for her students at North Branch Elementary.

Melinda Goss Posted over a year ago

Such an amazing and inspiring person! So lucky to work with her!

Amanda Posted over a year ago

I have two children that attend North Branch Elementary and Patty has called me on many occasions when one of them has fallen ill at school. She is always kind and genuinely cares for the well being of students and families. She has accurately diagnosed my children when trips to urgent care and our family doctor could not. During this pandemic and before, I have found comfort in knowing my children are in great hands at NBE. Thank you for all you do Kathy!

Kathleen Reed Posted over a year ago

Nurse Patty was incredible when my son broke his arm at school. It was terrifying for us both and she was such a calm influence when we needed it! Thank you for all you do!

Megan Hopp Posted over a year ago

We are so fortunate to have Patty as our school nurse. She goes above and beyond in everything she does. She handles all situations with ease and a little bit of humor. I sometimes wonder where she finds the time to do all the activities and hobbies she does, but we are all so fortunate to usually be on the receiving end of her generosity. We are all so grateful for Patty!

Kristina Hathcock Posted over a year ago

Patty is an amazing person!!! Her heart is put into everything she does including her job! Patty goes above and beyond everyday for staff and students. She's a problem solver and always quick and calm to react to whatever the call of the job may be. Patty is constantly checking in to see how everyone is doing and providing bits of sunshine throughout our building. We are so grateful for Patty and all that she brings to our building and district!!

Nikolas Hopp Posted over a year ago

What is there to say. Patty truly cares about every student that Attends North Branch Area Schools and is willing to go the extra mile at last seconds notice. During the pandemic, Patty stepped up and made masks for the entire North Branch Elementary staff and provided important guidance for our health and safety team. Besides her regular duties, Patty assists on keeping our immunizations up to date, updates our med alerts for students who have medical conditions and reports them to our staff, and even meets and greets our students in the drop-off line in the mornings. Patty does a fantastic job for our students, but Patty is an even better person. We at North Branch Elementary are truly blessed to have Patty in our lives as well as in our workplace. Thank you Patty for all you do day in and day out!!!!

Karen Bareither Posted over a year ago

Patty's calming nature and kindness has helped our staff and students in so many ways. We have looked to Patty as a source of comfort and reassurance while navigating our way through a Pandemic. Not only has Patty given us the support needed, but she has gone above and beyond to also keep our community informed and safe. We truly appreciate a co-worker who takes the time to help so many. She truly is a magical person!

Danielle Lonergan Posted over a year ago

Patty is always so helpful in ways beyond her demanding job. She's one of the greats who has helped make the last few years manageable.

Holly Mitchell Posted over a year ago

Before Patty walks into the school, past the hours that she walks out of the school doors, Patty is changing lives. She embraces life with a smile and a kind heart. She shares that kind heart with everyone she meets. She truley has a love for helping people!

Traci Weathers Posted over a year ago

Patty Laur is an amazing nurse! Patty gives all she has for our students and staff! There have been times when I needed medication she didn’t have at the school, she then offered to bring it in for me! The office is a very busy place and yet she remains calm and caring. When our school shut down, in 2020 she helped pack and hand out food most every single day! Party also washes the many lost and found items so our kids can have warm clothes when they have lost theirs or just don’t have any. I am so thankful for her!

Kathy Bailey Posted over a year ago

Patty is the BEST school nurse and is a GREAT person and FRIEND to ALL. Although Patty is super busy at all times, she shows her care to our youngest students by walking them back to class to get their belongings when they are not feeling well. She somehow manages to always answer her phone when I call asking the crazy questions that come my way! She ALWAYS has a SMILE on her face no matter how stressed she might be and it serves to BRIGHTEN everyone's day that comes into contact with her. Patty has definitely been a LIFE CHANGER to the staff and students she serves everyday. We are ALL so very THANKFUL to know her and work with her.

Alison Reed Posted over a year ago

Patty does so many "behind the scenes" things. If a student needs clothes, she gets them. She is a problem solver and a great person to brainstorm solutions with. She helps direct the drop off traffic in the morning. Patty eased our minds when Covid hit as she was always up to date with the latest information. She has given more rapid tests than she could ever keep track of. All of this is way beyond the job description of a school nurse. She has changed the life's of so many people, including mine.

Melanie Halleck Posted over a year ago

Patty has had an incredibly overwhelming last few years, but has handled it with grace. She is an amazing nurse who is kind hearted and very compassionate towards the kids. Not only is Patty focused on our students, she somehow finds time to continue to connect with the staff, and be there for us as well. I was recently given some unfortunate health news about a family member. When I told Patty, the first thing she said was "please let me know if you want to talk, or have any questions." This is coming from a school nurse who sees hundreds of students a week, and also has a family of her own. The connection and compassion she has for our entire Bronco family is extremely special. We love her dearly and appreciate her so much!

Jane Ehardt Posted over a year ago

There is relief in knowing that we have a nurse in our school during these difficult times, but it is even better knowing that we have a nurse who goes above and beyond. Patty also has great relationships with our students. We are very lucky to have Patty as our nurse!

Cindy Lewis Posted over a year ago

Patty Laur made masks for every single North Branch Area Schools employee and administrator during the pandemic. She did this all on her own time and with no financial support from the school. This is just one small example of the many things Patty does for our staff, students and community.

Kim Gormley Posted over a year ago

Patty Laur is amazing! First of all, she is a wonderful nurse for our elementary school students. She is caring, kind, generous, and compassionate. Each day, not only does she take care of our students with health risks, but she also takes care of the remaining 800 or so children that we have in our elementary school. Every day, Patty applies countless band aids, hands out many, many ice packs for scratches, bumps, and bruises, she stops nose bleeds, gives out new clothing to students, and she reassures our students that they are ok and that everything will be fine. She does all of this with a smile and compassion that our students need when they are hurt, scared, or upset. She handles all of our students' medical needs with such grace and love for each and every student that enters that office. Patty is selfless with her time and energy for our school. She made sure that each and every classroom in our elementary school was supplied with a safety kit in case of emergencies. She is also a part of our school committees as well to help spread joy and happiness around our building. Our school is very lucky to have such a dedicated nurse and colleague, but most of all our children are safer because of her. She is irreplaceable.

Brenda A Richardson Posted over a year ago

Patty does an amazing job taking care of our students! She also is available to help staff when they have a health related question. In addition, she gives of her time freely to make masks for staff and students. She is also apart of our Sunshine Committee. Patty volunteers to make cookies for all of our staff several times during the year. She brightens our day!! We love having her in our building!

Sara Hyde Posted over a year ago

I have known Patty for twenty years. First, as a parent then as a colleague. In the past two decades, I have been a witness to her caring spirit and generous acts of kindness. She goes above and beyond to help anyone and everyone she meets. If Patty hears of a problem, she is the first to try to solve it no matter how little or big the problem is. She is a behind the scenes worker, never seeking praise for what she does. Her service truly comes from her heart. Our community is lucky to have Patty and I am thankful to call her a friend.

Chelsey Crisman Posted over a year ago

Patty is absolutely wonderful and absolutely essential to our school. She takes the time to help kiddos regardless of whether they are injured, sick, or maybe just need a little extra attention that day fixing even boo-boos that we cannot see sometimes and doing it all with a smile on her face always. In her off time, she takes the time to bake cookies to deliver to each and every staff member to help spread a little of the cheer to everyone she can reach. She is an absolute blessing to our school!

Deanna Brusie Posted over a year ago

Patty Laur is also a part of the Ruth Fox Middle School providing medication and diabetic training. She is available at all times for whatever help we need with our 800 students. She has lead the way in interpreting the everchanging CDC rules, contacting parents and staff regarding quarantining while providing building tracking and contact information of COVID. Patty is a very hard worker and is always a pleasure to work with. Thank you Patty Laur!

Kari Hall Posted over a year ago

Patty is such an angel to North Branch Elementary. She takes all of my calls and questions about my student's medical needs and goes above and beyond her job description- even checking an anxious pregnant teacher's blood pressure to ease her mind, haha! We are so lucky to have her!

Carrie Knox Posted over a year ago

Patti always goes above and beyond. I am so grateful for everything she does in our Elementary school. I know she is always attending to our students and staff. Thank you Patti for all you do. We are so blessed.

Kristina Vaughn Posted over a year ago

Always amazing with the kids and makes them comfortable. We are so lucky to have her

Julie M Ludwig Posted over a year ago

Not only does Patty Laur do all of the above mentioned, such as making masks for staff and students, she also regularly makes theme based decorated cookies for the school Sunshine Committee to hand out to staff several times per year. I often wonder where she finds the time to do so much for North Branch Elementary. She truly goes above and beyond for all of us. We are so blessed to have her!

Renee Bechtel Posted over a year ago

Patty, Thank you so much for making sure Noah’s medical needs are met on a daily basis and making sure he is cared for while at school. It makes John and I feel at ease and so thankful, while he is at school. You are a blessing to North Branch Elementary. May God bless you.