LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Julene Lesher

Position: School Nurse
School: Arnold Elementary School
School District: Lincoln Public Schools
City, State: Lincoln , NE

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Julene Lesher was nominated by her principal, Jodi Frager.

Nurse Lesher has worked hard to expand her role as the school nurse in her building. She is a member of a weekly Wrap Around Team offering her depth of health knowledge and skills to help families in need. She took a semester-long district-led professional development course on Positive Behavior Intervention Supports. Then, she sought the administration's feedback to create Health Office expectations, procedures, routines, and a teaching lesson about the Health Office to match school-wide expectations. This was completely self-motivated on her part.  She also hosts several students to help out in the health office (making ice packs for the building), and she checks several kids in as their Check In/Check Out facilitator.

Nurse Lesher spearheaded the creation of Tier 1 Classroom Calming Toolkits for the 2020-2021 school year. She wrote the script for a video shared with all students and staff which trained them on calming tools and strategies and focused on emotions as the fifth vital sign. She secured grant money to help fund this project. These kits have been used so much this school year that the school has had to order new supplies for next year. She also leads many other committees and runs life-saving trainings within the building. Everything she does is pristinely done and carefully planned and executed.

"Some of her greatest strengths are her kindness and ability to make everyone feel valued," Frager said. "This goes for staff and students alike. She has worked with some incredibly challenging and emotionally volatile students and families, and she treats every single person with dignity, kindness, and respect. I have witnessed her treat a staff member who felt they were having a heart attack. I have seen her care for another staff member who was having a panic attack. She maintained their dignity and privacy and handled everything with ease. She has handled several student seizures and other life-threatening situations. I’m in awe of her skills. Julene is truly deserving!"



Comments (70)


Andrea Riley Posted 9 months ago

Julene is an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate nurse who inspires others with her creative and innovative solutions to problems. She works at a school with primarily low income students with many complex needs and has shown significant leadership and gone above and beyond to help them. To say she is passionate or committed is an understatement, she is the best. One example is how she assembled "calming toolkits" as a way of supporting students who were feeling stressed. This was a successful project and proved a help to students and teachers alike. She has also engaged older students to teach younger ones by making fun videos on things like hygiene (they made a song to remind them to cough into their elbows, it was great). We hope she will win this award so that she can use funding to further her work in helping students, especially ones with mental and behavioral health needs, as she does an outstanding job understanding their needs and supporting them throughout this difficult time. Julene Lesher is a lifechanger already and is more than deserving of being recognized for it.

Ann Pickrel Posted 10 months ago

Julene is a heart led leader and presents herself with the utmost compassion and skills to be a school nurse. I have been on many Committees and in classes with Julene and she has always been able to think outside the box to solve many situations to help the students in our District. Her poise in stressful events and the knowledge she brings to the table are true attributes of her passion for her career. Her educational background makes her someone staff and coworkers seek knowledge from. Her calm and thoughtful presence are true skills to have and be able to use in her position of school nurse and in society as a whole. I am proud to call her my friend and coworker.

dennis berens Posted 10 months ago

Julene us one of the kindness people I know. She got certified to teach CPR so she could train all of our church ushers and then members of the congregation who wanted to know the skills. She helped then to get defibrillators for our church as well as updated first aid kits.

Brooke Morse Posted 10 months ago

Julene creates a safe and welcoming environment in the health office all while protecting patient confidentiality. She is wonderful to collaborate with. Julene is an asset to the Arnold School Community.

Heather Warnken Posted 10 months ago

Julene is a wonderful person inside and out! Her heart and dedication to her job shows! She loves what she does and would do anything for anyone!

Amber Posted 10 months ago

Julene works hard and cares so much for her students. Lessons, care plans, a listening ear.. she has it.

Janeen Dyll Posted 10 months ago

It is no surprise that Julene would be nominated for this award/recognition. Her compassion, patience and calm demeanor will put anyone at ease. You are most deserving, best of luck.

Dede Gruber Posted 10 months ago

Julene is amazing! She has such a calm presence about her which helps keep the little preschoolers I work with calm also. We are so fortunate to have such a talented nurse at Arnold.

Samantha Huismann Posted 10 months ago

Julene is a wonderful nurse, she is always willing to answer questions for staff and help in anyway she can. Julene truly cares about each student at Arnold and is always putting their needs first to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. She does such a great job we are so lucky to have her at Arnold.

Cathron O'Connor Posted 10 months ago

Julene is the ideal school nurse. She is attentive, caring, and goes the extra mile to keep staff & students up-to-date on whatever the issue requires. She is kind and caring and just the kind of nurse you would want if you were in need. Her professionalism is outstanding! We are so fortunate to have a professional like her in Lincoln Public Schools.

Taylor Agena Posted 10 months ago

Julene is always so kind to all students and staff at Arnold! She does a works hard to ensure our students are cared for. Thanks for all you do!

Jordan Graham Posted 10 months ago

As a parent of a child who attends Arnold and that needs constant nurse support, I am grateful for the kindness and expertise of Julene. Her open communication with me about my child on a daily basis is vital to ensuring my child has a great experience at Arnold. I know Julene has put the time and effort into getting to know and understand my child’s needs and who they are as an individual. She is an amazing and dedicated nurse and individual. I am so appreciative of Julene’s knowledge, compassion, and empathetic approach and thankful she is Arnold’s school nurse!

Abbie Everett Posted 10 months ago

Julene is such a wonderful nurse, I feel so lucky to have her at Arnold. She has a nurturing approach to my students. Julene is so deserving of this award!

Sharon Long Posted 10 months ago

Julene is so kind and caring towards the students. She takes a special interest in them and she genuinely listens to their problems and helps them figure out their MANY ailments. She acknowledges their concerns and helps them feel validated. Julene works so hard to keep the staff updated on the latest practices for anything to do with medicine or medical practices.

Kathy Wilson Posted 10 months ago

Julene is always helpful when I have a concern about a students eye sight. She gets to the students eye exam right away. Which is so nice when you are trying to teach a student to read.

Seth Larson Posted 10 months ago

Julene is by far the best school nurse that I have worked with. She is always looking for ways to improve the school's processes and to improve student health. She is an expert in her field and deserves to be recognized for her commitment excellence.

Katrina Barnes Posted 10 months ago

Julene is the best! She really cares for our students and does an amazing job. Congrats!!

Janell Fletcher Posted 10 months ago

Julene is always willing to listen and help problem solve to help students and staff. She is also willing to partner with students and staff to do what is best for them!

Nikosia Kruse Posted 10 months ago

Julene is very pleasant and dedicated. She is willing to go above and beyond for students and staff!

Mikaela Heiser Posted 10 months ago

Julene is always so helpful for all students. She is willing to help when needed and is kind to all students she meets.

Emilee Otte Posted 10 months ago

Julene does a great job with my kindergarten students! Thanks for all you do!

Joselyn Salvatori Posted 10 months ago

Julene is a fantastic nurse. She makes sure all students are given the best care possible!

Sena Adelman Posted 10 months ago

Julene helped my daughter to learn more about her condition and become more independent. She has supported not only my family but also all of the students of Arnold.

Abbey Hansen Posted 10 months ago

Julene always has a smile on her face and is so pleasant to work with! She is always supporting our students!!

Jennifer Burklund Posted 10 months ago

Julene works tirelessly for students at Arnold. She does so much behind the scene to support students.

Hannah Hoefler Posted 10 months ago

Julene is very kind and caring. She works well with staff and students in the building and is very efficient in the work that she does. It is great working with her.

Tava Bowman Posted 10 months ago

Julene is such a delight to work with! She is kind, patient and truly cares about the staff and students that she works with. It is honor to work with Julene.

Kennedy Sander Posted 10 months ago

Julene is such a joy to lead our health office. She is so kind, caring, and compassionate and is willing to help everyone that enters her office. She is amazing!

Kelly Long Posted 10 months ago

Julene is an amazing school nurse. There is more than just being a nurse in a school setting. The things Julene helps our students and staff with are above and beyond what is considered in a normal day. She helps students with all of their needs and always has a smile and a helpful tone while doing so.

Kaylin Gardner Posted 10 months ago

Julene goes above and beyond to educate the teachers and the staff members at our school on how to best serve our students. Before a field trip, she took the time to make sure I throughly knew how to use am EpiPen. She didn't just give me a link to a video, she took me through step-by-step on how to use it and she even allowed me to use the trainer on her. She is willing to answer any questions and look into any concerns. She is the greatest heart for the students of our school.

Dara Buckendahl Posted 10 months ago

Julene is one of the hardest working school nurses that I have the pleasure to know. She is always using unique ideas and coming up with out-of-the-box solutions to problems, and especially when it comes to creating a safe, happy, healthy environment for her students. She cares about each and every one of them, and it is evident in her nursing practice. And, Julene never hesitates to share her creativity with the rest of the Health Services staff so that we can all better serve our students. Way to go, Julene!

Eileen Scovill Posted 10 months ago

Julene is a pleasure to work with. Always an advocate for student health and up to date on best practices. She has worked so hard to educate students, staff, and families on Covid-19 policy and ways to stay safe. Thank you Julene!

Theresa Haack Posted 10 months ago

Julene is a wonderful resource and always willing to help in any way she can. She is a gift to have in our school system!

Jennifer Brhel Posted 10 months ago

As a parent of a child that attends Arnold, I'm very appreciative to Julene and the work that she does at Arnold. Julene puts the health and safety of all children who attend Arnold first and communicates effectively to parents when treating their child. It is reassuring to know that we have Julene at the school and this is a much deserved nomination, and I hope award!

Emily Foster Posted 10 months ago

Julene is patient, professional, and compassionate in her work. She does a wonderful job supporting our staff and students in anyway that she possibly can. Julene works to problem solve with all the staff in our building to do what's best for students.

Nuru Roach Posted 10 months ago

Julene is kind, patient, and caring! I have had the privilege of working with her and now she works with my son. She has always been kind-hearted and helpful. She is an amazing person and truly deserves this!

Alicia Searcy Posted 10 months ago

Nurse Julene is an outstanding nurse, and I’m so blessed she helps with my daughters care daily while she attends school. She is caring, compassionate, and extremely competent. She has taken excellent care of daughter and goes above and beyond to make sure she has the care she needs. She has created protocols and procedures to make sure anyone caring for my daughter does it to the standards we have come to expect. Thank you for being such a tremendous asset to Arnold and all the children who you care for each day.

Cari Stukenholtz Posted 10 months ago

Thank you for working so hard to keep our children safe and healthy. I really appreciate your hard work and prompt communication when we needed it.

Jess Posted 10 months ago

Very happy for you and your nomination! My children have always had wonderful experiences with Julene even in scary situations she has always been able to calm them down and provide patient and compassionate care. Thank you for all that you do to keep our little ones feeling well!

Molly Smith Posted 10 months ago

As an Arnold parent of two daughters, I have always felt assured that they have had the best care under Julene. Even when the health office is buzzing with activity, it is a positive and organized environment. She treats each child as a person, and takes time out to support their individual needs, which benefits the entire Arnold community. She is such an asset to us!

Nicole Kirkpatrick Posted 10 months ago

Julene is amazing. She does a wonderful job for my son when he needs to receive his medications at school. Also when I bring in meds she's always so helpful and polite!

Kourtney Meysenburg Posted 10 months ago

Julene is great with students and parents. When I had a question about my student’s health, she was patient and informative without passing judgement. Congratulations on the nomination!

Tianna Coolidge-Loseman Posted 10 months ago

My kids absolutely love Julene. She is so nice and caring. Thank you for everything you do for our children and for caring so much.

Hailee Quakenbush Posted 10 months ago

This women has been tremendous in my daughters life as a health care worker. She has problem solved with situations for my brand new kindergartener that has been life changing for my child to be successful in school. She has always been thorough and empathetic. She has shown great understanding and problem solving skills when my daughter had a medical condition that impacted her daily learning. She has always been so kind hearted, sweet, loving and has tremendous communication skills when speaking to parents and students. Thank you for being you, your a rockstar!!

Becky Ives Posted 10 months ago

I have always appreciated Julene's attention and concern where my son is concerned! She's always been very helpful in answering questions and offering solutions. I am not surprised she is nominated for this award at all, she is very deserving of this honor.

Sally Lathrop Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations!!!

Michael Johnson Posted 10 months ago

Julene is the epitome of a caring professional. Students are in great hands in our Health Office at Arnold Elementary.

Emily Mujica Posted 10 months ago

Julene is kind, caring, and so patient with our students. She is great to work with when problem solving for our students. Thank you for everything you do to help our school and students feel safe and cared for!

Alyse Menghini Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations Julene! You are wonderful to have at Arnold and the kids/staff appreciate you so much. Thanks for all you do!

Dayna Krannawitter Posted 10 months ago

Julene is an inspiring professional and lifechanger! She leads with kindness and sets the example for working collaboratively with students, families, and community partners to ensure that the health needs of ALL students are met. I have had the pleasure of working with Julene through the school's wraparound process and supporting students as they transition from school day to afterschool. She is thoughtful and supportive when I come to her with questions, and she is always willing to lend a hand. We are so lucky to have her at our school!

Katie Henely Posted 10 months ago

Julene goes above and beyond to serve my Kindergarten students with what they need as well as all students at Arnold. She creates individualized plans, encourages teamwork with the student, and is always a joy to work with. She always has such a positive attitude and I leave her office with a smile every time. I am lucky to work with her!

Cassie Warnell Posted 10 months ago

Julene is so helpful to not only students but adults. I can go to her with any question without feeling judged. It is quite obvious that she is passionate about her job and that shows through every interaction she has.

Britany Shaw Posted 10 months ago

Julene was a wonderful person to have on our team and heavily involved in creating calming tool kits for our classrooms. In addition to helping decide items, put together, and distribute kits, Julene also helped create videos to teach students school wide about naming their emotions and using strategies. Julene always greets our students with a smile and makes them feel welcome!

John Bailey Posted 10 months ago

Julene is an amazing, caring person. She is thoughtful and always willing to help and give a smile (even behind her mask). She has a great impact on our school community with both the students and adults who come to her for assistance. She is one of those people who makes everybody around her strive to be a better, more caring person.

Eric Wachter Posted 10 months ago

Julene is the definition of a professional and works tirelessly in support of our kids!

Rosanne Entzminger Posted 10 months ago

Julene has been our school nurse for several years. Her quiet calming manner helps to put kids at ease. She is always willing to help out with our district programs like: Just Around the Corner videos and The Pillowcase project. We can count on Jelene to organize our field trip health bags and the health kits for each classroom. I appreciate her dedication to our school community.

Emily Faubel Posted 10 months ago

Julene is so calm and patient with all students. There are many different pieces that we need to be aware of as classroom teachers, having Julene on our side is golden. One example that comes to mind is how she prepares first aid kits prior to our field trips. She takes time to go over any student specific instructions before a trip. She has created calming kits to use in our classroom, my students use them every day resulting in less time away from instruction.

Cheryl M Russell Posted 10 months ago

I am so appreciative of our school nurse, Julene. The work load she shoulders everyday in a school of over 700 students is amazing! Her health office is welcoming to every incident that comes her way and all students feel cared for. Julene is friendly and a special part of our Arnold team.

Joleen Marsh Posted 10 months ago

Julene is a wonderful asset to Health Services at Lincoln Public Schools. Working with her as a Team Leader, she gave me valuable advice and support when I was new to the Team Leader position. She always has a smile on her face and has calming presence. She is an amazing leader and very deserving of this award.

Sarah Carothers Posted 11 months ago

Julene is an amazing heart-led leader! I had the pleasure of being on her team when I first started school nursing. She is a awesome mentor who helps new school nurses feel comfortable in their role. She always has a positive outlook and is always ready to help out wherever needed. She treats everyone with kindness and makes students feel welcome in her health office.

Julie Frederick Posted 11 months ago

I have had the privilege of working with Julene as a school nurse and being her direct supervisor. She consistently goes above and beyond for her students. She is extremely creative and is a true "out of the box" thinker. But she doesn't just think about things, she takes action. She seeks out opportunities to learn and creates learning opportunities for others. She has been a CPR for our district and trained many staff. She also created individual emergency training modules for a staff member who struggled with anxiety about responding to emergencies. She is extraordinarily calm and encouraging. Julene has served in leadership roles as a school nurse team leader and continues to provide support and encouragement to school nurses in the district. She has also served on the Nebraska School Nurse Association Board for several years. She presented with three other school nurses at the National Association of School Nurses conference last summer trailblazing work initiating behavior support in health offices. Julene is so deserving of this honor.

Ashley Wunibald Posted 11 months ago

Julene is a wonderful mentor and colleague. She demonstrates leadership and compassion in everything she does. Her dedication to the children she cares for and her team of co-workers is extraordinary, She makes herself available and is open to questions at any time and always prepared to provide guidance. It has been a pleasure getting to know her and be a part of her team over the past two years.

Eric Lesher Posted over a year ago

Julene is dedicated to her work and committed to the mission of Lincoln Public Schools. Through her own self-awareness, she has become committed to the health and well-being of the students she serves. The pandemic has raised the need for mental health awareness in our schools. This is especially true with families who have limited resources. This award would allow her to continue pursuing her passion for student health in a meaningful and impactful way.

Sunni Richardson Posted over a year ago

It has been my pleasure to get to know and work with Julene Lesher over the past year. She offered to share leadership and organizational insights she had gained working as a school nurse and being the spouse of a Lutheran pastor on the synodical level. Her keen awareness of the snags and pitfalls a pastor may face when trying to move a congregation to a new place and her personal observation of pastor bashing and abuse led her to take her professional expertise and drop it into the church context. Julene's personal commitment to change not just complaining opened the door to provided a continuing education workshop for Nebraska Synod leaders. I was overwhelmed with her willingness to create and share resources and to allow us to record her workshop. We provided 15 workshops at that conference and Julene's workshops received the most hits following the conference. The resources included tools to use with church councils, Sunday school teachers and others staff. Our conversation continued as Julene had more to share and was willing to do webinars that could be used at council meetings and with church committees and planning teams. She went on to create an additional workshop using Google classrooms tools that was offered online and well received. The extra time Julene spent creating examples of slides aimed at churches was amazing. I am looking forward to working with Julene again soon. She is creative, insightful, responsible and professional. I appreciated the way she checked signals along the way making sure her presentation was hitting the mark for the audience and helping us reach synodical goals. Her work, care and love for her students and colleagues is refreshing. She has my vote and I know others from the Nebraska Synod ELCA would cast their vote the same way.

Catherine Heck Posted over a year ago

I am currently the past-president for the Nebraska School Nurses Association (NSNA). Julene is currently the secretary for NSNA (her second-term). When I was the president of NSNA - I relied on Julene's eye for detail and her organizational skills to support documenting our association's operating guidelines, by-laws, election term for the board of directors positions and record keeping of meeting minutes. She performed these duties at an exemplary level. Additionally, she has served on other professional nursing groups (for example: the Annual School Health Conference planning committee) in the past to support the advancement of professional school nurse practice. She is a most worthy candidate for recognition!

Sharon Baker Posted over a year ago

Julene is an amazing nurse and leader. She consistently steps up to challenges and requests from her team at LPS. She is an expert in school nursing and it shows on a daily basis. Julene has demonstrated leadership in so many ways both at the district and state wide. I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award, she is such a pleasure and joy to work with!

Adisa Cavalic Posted over a year ago

Julene Lesher is a School Nurse that I have worked with for some time now. I worked with many people throughout my career, but no one with such intense passion and dedication for their job. Julene Lesher is a natural leader, and her knowledge and organizational skills are exceptional. Nurse Lesher has worked hard to help and share her expertise on trauma with the students, and her goal is to help our children be motivated, happy, and relaxed at school. She created calming toolkit lessons for the children at school to help deal with daily school stress. Nurse Lesher still works tirelessly to help improve mental health in our children's schools. Her schedule is very busy with daily responsibilities, but still able to find time to teach and motivate a young student who has difficulties and fear using the restroom by using pictures and reading a book about toileting and hygiene. Nurse Lesher is always caring, respectful, and has a good attitude that empowers staff and children. I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award than Nurse Julene Lesher.

Megan Lytle Posted over a year ago

Julene is constantly striving to better the learning environments for ALL students. She is innovative in her thinking and is always assessing her practices for areas of improvement. I have been a colleague of Julene's for approximately 6 years and I can always learn something from her. She is an excellent partner in multi-disciplinary teams and works to maximize everyone's strengths. She is a calm and patient school nurse who advocates for her students and works to give them tools to create well-rounded, strong members of the community.

Wendy Rau Posted over a year ago

Julene Lesher is a passionate advocate for her students. Julene is leader in our Health Services program at Lincoln Public Schools. Julene has been a team leader in our program. She not only is an amazing role model for her students. She is a role mentor and nurse mentor for all our staff. Julene is a member of our trauma informed care and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support professional learning team. She continues to shares her expertise on trauma and her calming toolkit project with all our school nurses so the project is expanding to impact other buildings in our district. She has created training videos to help train our staff on use of the calming toolkit with students. She has presented several times both at the local level and nationally on the impact and role of the School Nurse in Multi-tiered Systems of Support, this includes the national School Nurse conference and the national conference for Positive Behavior Intervention Support. Julene has an impact everyday with her students. Julene is a CPR instructor for Lincoln Public School and on the Health Services orientation team. These are examples of ways, she shares her school nursing expertise to benefit our school district and our health services program. Julene is a master School Nurse in supporting her students to become independent and learn new skills. An example of Julene's impact is creating programming to teach and support one of her students to be able to complete her own catherizations daily. I wholeheartedly agree with Jodi Frager, Julene is truly deserving of this honor. Julene is a shining star in her role as a professional school nurse. She goes above and beyond to meet her students and families where they are at! Julene's empathy and kindness builds lasting relationships with her students. Julene makes our Health Services program at Lincoln Public School better. This impact is immeasurable. Sincerely, Wendy Rau, MSN, BA, RN Health Services Supervisor

Sara Stoner Posted over a year ago

Julene is truly deserving of this award. I have had the pleasure of working with Julene for the last 5 years and can tell you that she is a forward thinker for her school and the district. She is always finding new ways to improve the care given to the children at her school and throughout our district. Her work with creating the Calming Toolkit will have a great impact on the students at Arnold. She is truly a Heartled Leader.