“Heather Fergerson, the nurse at the Brewster Pierce school, was chock full of good energy when we visited her in December. “Heather treats every staff member and student with the tender loving care,” said Aimee Motta, one of her colleagues. “When a student needs an ice pack for a bump or bruise, her ice packs make the healing more comfortable. She has the most unique material on each pack that appeals to youth and adults as well.”
As we talked, Fergerson shared some of what she has been doing as the building wellness leader over the past few years. “Last year I folded a thousand origami cranes and passed them out to folks I caught in an act of kindness, such as wiping snow from someone’s vehicle or bringing in coffee,” she said. “This year, I am passing out kindness rocks when I catch someone in the process of being kind. I am going to offer VEHI PATH Happiness Journals to everyone and mindful afternoons led by Aimee Motta.”
According to Motta, Heather knows how to inspire the staff and acknowledges everyone for practicing a healthy lifestyle. “Seeing Nurse Heather as superwoman at the end of a long school day puts a smile on my face. She goes beyond her job responsibilities to volunteer and support fundraisers. As a classroom teacher, I witness her health classes and note how she keeps students engaged. Her enthusiasm permeates throughout the school. Lastly, every year she volunteers to participate in our annual skit and is one fine chicken who knows laughter is the best medicine,” said Motta.
“On my days off, I work as a labor and delivery nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center,” Fergerson said. “It’s a good balance for me – as part of what I want to do is work with students and teach health education skills and then when I work at the hospital it is clinical and fast paced. “ I absolutely love focusing on staff wellness too; helping adults inspire other adults and when the students see this it inspires them to participate in healthy behaviors.”
Fergerson has now served as the school nurse for over a decade. “I flourished once Sally Hayes became the principal,” she said. “There is so much support for wellness now and she is supportive of my creativity.”
Always up for something new, Fergerson became involved with First Strides, a group for first time runners, because of a parent’s suggestion. “I am hooked now,” she said. Before we headed outside for some photos of Fergerson demonstrating her Nordic skiing abilities, a recent addition to her fitness regime, she pointed out her framed pictures of Eddie Vetter prominent in her office. “I am a Pearl Jam groupie,” she said laughing