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Cortez school nurse wins top Colorado award

Montezuma-Cortez High School nurse Sue Ciccia has been awarded the Colorado Association of School Nurses Administrator of the Year award.

Montezuma-Cortez High School nurse Sue Ciccia has been given a top award from the Colorado Association of School Nurses.

Ciccia was awarded the group’s School Nurse Administrator of the Year honor, topping three other nominees. She traveled to Loveland this weekend for the CASN Fall Conference, where she was recognized for the honor at an awards banquet Saturday.

“I am just so touched,” Ciccia said on Tuesday. “I love what I do. To be acknowledged for this is huge since I’m in Cortez, and Colorado is a big state. It’s wonderful to be recognized by my professional colleagues and my community.”

Ciccia has worked with the Re-1 District since 2000, becoming Health Services Director in 2003. When she started out, it was her “against the world,” she said. She had few resources and collaborators in remote Southwest Colorado, she said.

Recently, though, technology has improved, allowing her to communicate with other colleagues across the entire state, Ciccia said.

“There are more of us supporting each other even though we’re isolated,” she said.

School nurses and health workers across the state use a data-driven and evidence-based approach to student health, Ciccia said. Health information is compiled into a database so health personnel can better leverage resources across the state, she said.

Ciccia said her work is very rewarding.

“I like to develop relationships with families,” she said. “The work I do allows a child be in school who might not otherwise be able because of health.”

Looking at the bigger picture and coordinating with others is a big part of her job, Ciccia said. She works with administrators and they give her a lot of support, she said.

“Re-1 is a fabulous place to work,” she said. “I have a lot of administrative support and I love working with them to help kids. ... I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.”