Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Sue Walker, MacArthur Elementary School counselor, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2020 Kansas School Nurses Organization Recognition Award.
According to the official KSNO website, the award is given to an organization, agency, group or individual “who continuously supported or uniquely contributed in the promotion of KSNO.”
Walker has been the MacArthur school counselor since 2015. She was notified of her win July 19 and was recognized during KSNO’s virtual Summer School Nurse General Conference July 21-23.
Walker was nominated by Melinda McConnell, MacArthur school nurse, in May.
“School counselors quietly do their job, interacting with every student and staff member in the building, and their impact is often overlooked,” McConnell said. “I know that MacArthur could not function well without Sue, and I felt that she needed to be recognized for that.
“She and I work very well together with the common goal of ensuring that (MacArthur) students are happy, healthy and ready to learn,” she said. “I had wanted to nominate her in previous years and luckily had the time at home this spring to complete the nomination process and am extremely happy that Sue was chosen for this prestigious award.”
McConnell’s nomination included Walker’s years with the school, her dedication to the care of students, how well she works as part of a team and more.
“The committee chose your nomination by a unanimous vote,” Katy Carter, KSNO Awards chair, said in the congratulatory e-mail. “We are proud to recognize your efforts to keep children healthy, safe and ready to learn.”
Walker said she didn’t know McConnell nominated her for the award until she received the congratulatory e-mail from Carter.
“I feel honored that Melinda would even do that for me. Melinda is an incredible person and friend, but most of all an awesome nurse,” Walker said. “I feel that I am just one of the components that make MacArthur a thoughtful caring environment. It takes an entire village to make a school work.
“Everyone at MacArthur has helped me out in so many ways, from helping a student who is having a rough moment to helping me reward a student or class with a hot chocolate party or a trip to the MacArthur Store,” she said. “The amount of compassion and understanding is so key for a student’s success, and the staff at MacArthur gets it.”
Walker said she loves being a counselor.
“I truly love helping students, of any age, find their way. It is an incredible feeling when you see a student that you have worked with handle a situation that was tough for them,” Walker said. “Sometimes, I have to admit, it is bittersweet, because if they do not need me anymore, I miss them, but that is exactly what I want them to do.
“What I hope I can do for the students and parents at MacArthur is just help them find their way. We all have different paths to take, and we all can be successful. And military families have some unique challenges, and they have taught me so much,” she said. “I hope at MacArthur, we can assist them in wherever life takes them. I want them to know that they touch every life they come in contact with and always know that MacArthur will always consider them a Mustang for life.”
For more information about the KSNO, visit www.ksno.org.