Rachel Smith, health services director for Greater Albany Public Schools, won April 21 the Oregon School Nurse Administrator of the Year award from the Oregon School Nurses Association.
Smith has worked for GAPS since 2019 and led the district through the COVID-19 pandemic. She received more than a dozen nominations from her colleagues in the district.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a statewide award for the work that they’ve done over the past year,” Interim Superintendent Rob Saxton said in a statement. “Rachel has demonstrated incredible energy, dedication, intelligence, and common sense in helping the district work through the most challenging of times.”
Smith earned her bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Maryland and Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois. She worked as a nurse in Baltimore and Corvallis before joining GAPS.
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Smith established and led the GAPS Health Services team in July 2021 to create a comprehensive student support system for health services.
“It has been an exciting journey growing our Health Services programs at GAPS, especially our nursing team, and I am truly honored to have received this award,” Smith said in a news release. “I am proud to work alongside our amazing and talented team here at GAPS.”