For more than two decades, Laurel Gretebeck has kept thousands of Stoughton Area School District students safe and healthy as a school nurse.
In August, she was honored for her efforts as the 2020 recipient of the Kathyrn Etter School Nurse of the Year Award.
Gretebeck, now in her 22nd year in the district, not only supports around 2,700 students from 4K to high school, she is an educator herself, and has for years been a promoter of school nursing around the state. She has served as secretary of the Wisconsin Association of School Nurses’ board of directors, and was a member of a working group with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to develop the resource field trip toolkit. Gretebeck also teaches nursing classes at the post secondary level and has nursing students with her every semester.
Kegonsa Elementary School principal Erin Conrad said Gretebeck works diligently to stay current with best practices in school nursing, and called her a “tireless advocate for our students and our families and a gift to work with.”
“As a district nurse, overseeing student health and wellness across five schools, Laurel knows that our students’ health is dependent on her ability to collaborate with different stakeholders within and outside of our school system,” Conrad wrote in an email to the Hub. “Laurel has a warm and inviting spirit which serves her well as she navigates through her day. She wants to do the best work she knows how to do.”
District superintendent Tim Onsager said the honor is well deserved, and he was pleased to see Gretebeck recognized for her outstanding qualities and accomplishments.
“In my 30 years in education, I have had the privilege of working with many excellent and dedicated nurses. Laurel is by far the best of the group,” he wrote the Hub in an email. “We are in unprecedented times and I am so grateful to Laurel for her guidance, attention to detail, and her understanding of real issues.”
Gretebeck said she was “extremely honored” to be nominated and recognized by her colleagues and peers around the state.
“I am so blessed to be able to have a job/career that I love,” she wrote the Hub in an email. “I am always challenged and the days go by too fast. I have had the privilege of interacting with and making a positive impact on the health of many students, families, staff and community members over the years.”