April 15, 2016


According Bevin Gordon, director of health services, Spillane Middle School nurse Becky Cushen is a compassionate nurse with limitless energy. Cushen, pictured with seventh-grade students Joseph and Nehemiah Dabney, was named a Top 10 nurse in Houston. Nurse Cushen will be honored at the annual Salute to Nurses Luncheon on May 5.

April 15, 2016 – The CFISD community demonstrated how much they love school nurses by submitting an overwhelming number of nominations during the month of March to the Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses program.

As a result, two CFISD nurses made the Houston Chronicle’s Top 10 best nurses in Houston while 19 were named to the Top 150 list.


Spillane nurse Becky Cushen checks seventh-grade student Nehemiah Dabney's heartbeat.

“We are an exceptional team of nurses, and we have great reason to celebrate,” said Bevin Gordon, director for health services. “The judges consider each nomination and look for demonstrated caring, nursing skills and dedication to the nursing profession. I am so proud to know that our students, parents, co-workers and community recognize and celebrate all of these characteristics in us.”

The top 150 nurses, selected by a panel of educators and leaders in the industry, will be honored at the annual Salute to Nurses luncheon on May 5 to kickoff National Nurses Week*, May 6-12, celebrating the theme “Culture of Safety: It starts with YOU!”

According to the Chronicle, the annual Salute to Nurses program mobilizes area hospitals, clinics, schools and patients eager to nominate Houston’s best nurses. The CFISD community did not hold back, accounting for nearly 200 of the approximate 1,000 overall nominations that the Chronicle received.


Cypress Lakes High School senior Carmen Pouncil weighs in at nurse Janet Jewitt’s office. Nurse Jewitt was named a Top 10 nurse in Houston. According to Bevin Gordon, director of health services, she is an experienced nurse with an unparalleled public health focus. Nurse Jewitt will be honored at the annual Salute to Nurses Luncheon on May 5.

Spillane Middle School nurse Becky Cushen and Cypress Lakes High School nurse Janet Jewitt were selected by the expert panel of judges as Top 10 recipients in Houston for their selfless service and outstanding care they provide to students.

“Both nurses are so deserving of this honor,” Gordon said. “Janet is an experienced nurse with an unparalleled public health focus. She is passionate about nursing, preventative medicine and incredibly skilled at connecting students and families in need with appropriate, affordable and accessible medical care. Becky is a compassionate nurse with limitless energy.  She is masterful at partnering with families to ensure student medical needs are met at school. Janet and Becky are both dedicated to teaching health awareness to students, staff and the community at any opportunity to promote a safe school environment.”


Cypress Lakes sophomore Christopher Romero has his hearing checked by Nurse Janet Jewitt.

According to Cushen, receiving this honor was unexpected and humbling and she is thankful to her school community for nominating her.

“My coworkers and [school] parents are so supportive. Spillane is a great school. I enjoy coming to work every day,” she said. “It is wonderful to hear such nice things being said. I couldn’t ask for a better working environment. I enjoy being there for my students and staff. Thank you so much.”

Jewitt shares the same sentiments and said she appreciates the support from the Cypress Lakes family.

“I’m here for the students,” she said. “The Cy Lakes administration, staff and students have shown that they are here for me as well with this wonderful nomination.”


Ault Elementary School nurse Michelle Trahan examines kindergarten student Ellary Miller’s ears. Nurse Trahan was nominated by one of the school’s parents and was selected as one of the Top 150 outstanding nurses in Houston.

In addition to the two Top 10 nurses who each received multiple nominations from members of their communities, 19 more nurses were selected to the elite group of Top 150 nurses in Houston. Through the overflowing number of nominations, it was evident that the CFISD community felt strongly about the outstanding dedication and hard work of CFISD nurses.

“As a parent of a child that attends Ault Elementary School, I nominated Michelle Trahan for Salute to Nurses and she was selected,” said Angela Langenberg. “My son was diagnosed with cancer at the age of seven and was treated with chemotherapy along with many other drugs during his yearlong treatment. Nurse Trahan had a big role in my child not getting sick once during his year of treatment. Not once! Her diligence in this matter greatly helped my child stay healthy enough so that he could attend school while still getting chemo treatments. When he went to school, Nurse Trahan was one of the main reasons I felt less stressed about my son’s safety at school.”


Ault nurse Michelle Trahan checks on how much kindergarten Kaleb Manley has grown. 

The outstanding service of Nurse Trahan did not go unnoticed and earned her a spot in the Top 150 alongside 18 other CFISD nurses. The following nurses were selected in the Top 150 nurses in Houston:

  • Allison Dean, Anthony Middle School
  • Norma Painter, Aragon Middle School
  • Nancy Payne, Black Elementary School
  • Cathy Hensley, Lamkin Elementary School
  • Michelle Trahan, Ault Elementary School
  • Holly Haynes, Cypress Woods High School
  • Aimee Lavers, Hairgrove Elementary School
  • Harlene Oeschler, Hopper Middle School
  • Irma Moodt, Keith Elementary School
  • Eloise Scanterbury, Kirk Elementary School
  • Jill Jensen, Lowery Elementary School
  • Sarah Hoglund, Millsap Elementary School
  • Nina Turley, Moore Elementary School
  • Mary Coldwell, Pope Elementary School
  • Staci Henry, Postma Elementary School
  • Joyce Chiasson, Robison Elementary School
  • Laura Pham, Salyards Middle School
  • Jane Milne-Keen, Swenke Elementary School
  • Jane Rousseau, retired CFISD nurse

In addition to the Salute to Nurses luncheon, honorees will be highlighted in the Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses Special Section on Sunday, May 8.

*The American Nurses Association Board of Directors designated May 6–12 as permanent dates to observe "National Nurses Week" in 1994 and in all subsequent years. As of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week each year. This year, school nurses will be recognized nationwide on May 11. Using #SafeNursesRock and #nursesweek, photos, videos and quotes can be shared via Instagram and Twitter from now until the end of Nurses Week demonstrating how nurses safely practice.

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