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McConnaughay spotlights everyday hero, Amy Boynton, 2017 Kane County Educator of the Year nominee

This week, Senator McConnaughay spotlights Amy Boynton, certified school nurse at St. Charles North High School and nominee for the 2017 Kane County Educator of the Year Award.

For the 42nd annual event, the Kane County Regional Office of Education will honor 45 outstanding educators nominated as academic leaders by their peers. The award will be presented to one educator for nine separate categories: classroom preschool teacher; classroom elementary teacher; classroom middle school teacher; classroom high school teacher; school administrator; student support personnel; early career educator; private/parochial; and education service personnel. One teacher will then be presented with the overall 2017 Top Educator of the Year Award.

Boynton was nominated for the student support personnel category by the staff and parent community at St. Charles North High School, where she has worked in the nurse’s office for 14 years out of her 27 years of nursing experience. Her strong sense of intuition and observation has made her a trusted advocate and confidant for her students.

While the majority of Boynton’s work involves day-to-day physical assessments and medication administration, she says her role requires a number of social and interviewing skills in order get a deeper understanding of students physical and mental health.

“Students need to feel they can be open and honest with us,” said Boynton. “We really depend on them to tell us what’s really going on—like do they truly have a stomach ache or is it more of an emotional concern? Through our interviewing skills, that’s what we really try to determine. We’re trained in social and emotional assessment.”

Boynton attributes the school’s excellent health care to her team of dedicated nursing professionals that came to the school from a range of medical and work backgrounds, including Boynton who previously worked at Loyola University Hospital in surgery, medical intensive care, and labor and delivery. Together, the nursing team offers a combined 120 years of experience. They also share one important commonality, they’re all mothers, which according to Boynton, is highly advantageous in communicating in a school setting.

Staff members not only applaud Boynton’s ability to build trusting relationships with her students, but also her passion to help everyone be a healthy and better version of themselves. She challenges the faculty to engage in healthy behavior by adopting five positive habits, small or large, like drinking enough water, eating more vegetables or getting more consecutive hours of sleep. Additionally, Boynton writes health and wellness-related articles for the school newspaper that advise students on how to develop a healthier environment at home with their families.

“I’m so happy to congratulate Amy for this prestigious nomination,” said Senator McConnaughay. “She has a personal investment in the physical and mental health of her students and improving overall awareness at her school. It’s important to have staff the students can really trust, especially when it comes to their health. It’s great to see Kane County schools and parents recognize such a committed member of our academic community.”

Boynton and the other nominees will be honored at the Kane County Regional Office of Education’s 42nd Annual Educator of the Year dinner, on April 28 at the Q Center in St. Charles.

Senator McConnaughay is proud to recognize Boynton for her Educator of the Year award nomination and thank her for her ongoing dedication to St. Charles North High School. 

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