Miriam Carmichael’s advocacy for diverse populations of children and their health care needs earned her the 2018 Texas School Nurse of the Year honor.
Carmichael is the third EPISD nurse to receive this statewide honor since the Texas School Nurses Organization the recognition began in 2003.
“I know that Miriam received this honor because she seeks the best possible solution to care for our students,” said Luisa Herrera, nurse educator in Special Education/Health Services. “She is a staunch advocate of students with life and intellectual challenges.”
Herrera, who has worked with Carmichael for 14 years, nominated Carmichael for the honor. In Herrera’s nomination letter, she shared details about how Carmichael has made a difference in the lives of students at the individual campuses she’s served and demonstrated her commitment to improving healthcare for students throughout the community.
“Ms. Carmichael’s compassion, advocacy, leadership abilities and commitment to school nursing will continue to set her apart from other nurses in our professional field,” she wrote.
Carmichael humbly credits the award to the District’s nursing leadership – from health services to the strong collaboration among her colleagues.
“We have excellent nurse leadership and an involved nurse leadership team. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” she said. “All the support and high standards makes for an environment that promotes excellence. I’m just representing them.”
Carmichael notes that of the 16 other state nurses of the year across Texas, two are from EPISD: Christina Maxwell, now serving EPISD students as a speech therapist, and Nancy Haegele, a nurse at Morehead Middle School.
“We have excellent nurses in EPISD,” she said.
Carmichael, who has been with EPISD since 2004, has served as a nurse at Johnson and Burleson elementary schools before joining Brown Middle in 2017. She spent 19 years caring for children pediatric Intensive Care Units at hospitals in El Paso and out of state before joining the ranks of school nursing.
“I found my calling in school nursing,” she said.
Carmichael’s found herself drawn to serving and advocating for students with diverse backgrounds who often are new immigrants, low income, homeless and with special needs.
“Sometimes the school nurses is their main clinic if they don’t have access to other types of healthcare,” Carmichael said. “The school nurse is the first person to see a lot of things – not just medical problems but the kids who are experiencing anxiety, depression and who were having problems at home and their families aren’t able to cope. Sometimes we are the first person to help.”