Nurse Cynthia Hirt receives NYSASN Award for Excellence

Burton Street Elementary School's registered nurse Cynthia Hirt loves helping her young patients, and now she has been recognized by the New York State Association of School Nurses for her hard work and dedication.

On May 11, National School Nurses Day, Hirt was given the Award for Excellence in School Nursing for Zone 10 by the NYSASN. Hirt was honored as the outstanding healthcare professional among 70 school districts within the counties of Cayuga, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego.

"I love coming to work; this age group is my favorite to work with. I feel so honored to have been selected by my peers," Hirt said. "I think having stayed active in professional organizations throughout my career helped put me in the running, but I've always believed in continuing education and keeping up to date with state mandates as well."

A Cazenovia native, Hirt attended Burton Street Elementary as a student and graduated from the high school. After attending SUNY Morrisville and spending a year as a medical surgical nurse at Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich, Hirt returned to Cazenovia. She was hired as the school nurse for Burton Street Elementary and, 16 years later, is still helping students every day.

Hirt's workday starts at 7:30 a.m. when she arrives at school and begins preparing for the influx of patients. Many children come in with doctor's notes and stomach aches; others wish to simply say hello. While she has a schedule of regular students and sees an average of 40 students daily, Hirt said the busiest time of day usually occurs from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., during lunch and recess. Even over the summer months, she remains at the school, tending to the scraped knees and sicknesses of summer school students.

Mary-Ann MacIntosh, Burton Street Elementary principal and one of the letter writers that nominated Hirt for the award, praised her professionalism and positive attitude while serving the 580 students at the school. "Cindy promotes healthy students by providing knowledge and skills when working with both students and families. Parents often contact Cindy for health advice and when looking for medical support," she said. "It has been my pleasure working with Cindy the past seven years. I have come to rely on her opinion and support when dealing with many of our families."

Hirt currently lives in Cazenovia with her husband, Fred, a bus driver for the district. Their three children, who have since completed their primary education, were all products of Cazenovia schools. To learn more about the NYS Association of School Nurses and award recipients from other zones, visit nysasn.org or email nysasnweb@yahoo.com.

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