Who WE Are – Heidi Hildick

Heidi Hildick will never forget this school year. As Colonial’s lead nurse she suddenly became the liaison between the district and Delaware Division of Public Health when the global pandemic changed life as we know it.  But, while dealing with daily zooms with other lead nurses in the state along with health officials regarding COVID, she also was named the Outstanding Nurse for Students with Special Needs for 2021!  The Special Needs School Nurses Special Interest Group of the National Association of School Nurses. surprised Hildick with the prestigious honor.

“I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I have dedicated my nursing career to supporting the special needs population.  My hope is that winning this award will enable me to further my efforts to advocate for my students and their families.  My students fill my heart with joy, and my goal has always been and will continue to be, to provide a little bit of that joy to them in return” Hildick says.

Hildick started working as a school nurse at Leach in 2011, with her role shifting to the District‘s Lead Nurse when COVID hit. Now she manages all staff COVID cases and exposures as well as collaborating with building school nurses about student cases saying, “Professionally, I feel that I am growing as a leader as we navigate these unique times, but I do miss getting to actively participate in the care of our students. They are at the heart of school nursing.” 

Hildick says she’s also learned a lot over the last year about the dedication of administrators, teachers, and staff and about the real meaning behind Colonial’s Power of WE mantra. 

“Prior to the pandemic, I didn’t appreciate the meaning behind the words.  As a school nurse, you sometimes feel like a fish out of water working in the education system.  However, I believe that things have changed now that WE have had to navigate a pandemic.  Students were able to return to in-person instruction in large part due to the presence of school nurses in the buildings.  School nurses are contact tracing, educating staff and students on mitigation strategies, and enforcing these strategies to keep us moving forward.  The Power of WE means all staff, regardless of their role, are working together to get to the end of this race!”