The Doctor is In: Meet Dr. Yvonne Clarke, DNP
Dr. Yvonne Clarke is a remarkable example of perseverance and service within the #kleinfamily. In celebration of her recent accomplishment of earning a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, we set out to highlight this remarkable and invaluable member of our community.
Dr. Clarke began her career in Klein ISD as a campus nurse in 2007 and served as a health services coordinator before becoming the director of this integral team in our district. She is committed to supporting campuses in caring for the whole child by working with nurses and building partnerships with healthcare professionals in our community.
Get to know Dr. Clarke and what motivates her to excellence as she leads the Klein ISD Health Services Department.
What makes Klein ISD’s Health Services Department a step above the rest?
“Health Services in Klein ISD is unique in that we have registered nurses in all of our schools. In addition to every campus having a registered nurse we also have clinic assistants. It is not the same at many other school districts. In fact, this is the 40th year of Klein ISD having a Health Services department with registered nurses.
Our district gets bigger every year and school nurses have been in the forefront due to the pandemic, but people forget that we’ve had registered nurses in Klein ISD schools for 40 years and they have given health education not only to the students and parents but to the staff all this time. That’s awesome.”
What are some of the challenges you face in your role, especially right now during uncertain times?
“One of the challenges at the moment is that I would love to be on campuses more, and be there side-by-side with the nurses. Right now our team is working hard to support nurses across the entire district with procedures and protocols that have been given by the Texas Education Agency and Harris County to ensure our staff and students are safe and healthy.”
What makes your job so rewarding for you?
“I would say the most rewarding part of my job is when we host vision events or dental events and I’m there with the students. Seeing them getting to pick out their own eyeglass frames or that they had their teeth cleaned and want to show you their nice smile. That’s the fun part of my job. We love helping our students feel proud and successful.
Building community is one of our strategic priorities in Klein ISD and one way we do this is through our community-partnered events. One of my favorite events is called Project Saving Smiles and we partner with the Houston Health Foundation to host it. We bus second graders from many Klein ISD campuses, and they come and get their teeth cleaned and have sealants put on for preventive dental issues.
Something else that is so rewarding is when I’m working with nurses who are new to skilled nursing. It’s very rewarding when you’ve been working with a nurse and have been orienting her and working side-by-side.”
What are your next goals for the rest of the year concerning yourself and your department?
“One of the goals that we are working on is returning our in-person programming such as Project Saving Smiles which we haven’t had for two years because of the pandemic.
The other goal is continuing to support school nurses and clinic staff to expand their practice outside of the walls of their clinic. As our school populations get bigger, or clinics get busier. We aim to support our nurses so that they can get out of the clinics and focus more on health and wellness with students and faculty. We want to make sure our community knows that we’re the health experts on campus, not just for COVID but for everything.”
Do you have any advice or inspiration for aspiring school nurses?
“If you have an interest in looking after the whole child, school nursing is for you. It’s rewarding to see the impact that you’ve made on someone’s life or a family’s over generations. When you’re in a hospital or a clinic you see a patient when they’re at their most vulnerable. You give them care, and then the patient leaves and you say, ‘I wonder what happened to them?’ When you’re in school health, you get to work with those patients, give them health education, then you can actually see the impact of it, and hopefully, the benefit that it’s had, and that’s really rewarding.”
Thank you to Dr. Clarke and the entire Klein ISD Health Services Department for the hard work and determination you display in keeping our #keinfamily on track in promoting life-long wellness practices and supporting learning. Congratulations to Dr. Clarke for the completion of your Doctorate program! Our Klein community is proud of you.
Best Public Schools in Texas
Klein ISD has an established 84-year history of excellence and innovation in education with unique pathways for EVERY student in our care to ensure learners are college, career, military, and life ready. With recognition for STEM, athletics, fine arts, and academics from highly-esteemed organizations, it is clear that Our Shared Vision of every student entering with a promise and exiting with a purpose is a reality for EVERY student who walks through our doors.
About Klein ISD
Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas, located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 88 square miles and serves more than 53,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.
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There are so many incredible individuals in the Klein Family making a lasting impact on our community. We want to recognize and celebrate our leaders and learners that are cultivating talent, building relationships, reimagining learning and making Promise2Purpose a reality daily. Share your story here: https://kleinfamily.net