Clayton S. Wetzel III has been named Vermont School Nurse of the Year. Wetzel is nurse at Waitsfield Elementary School.

Waitsfield Elementary School nurse Clayton S. Wetzel III, Moretown, was recognized this past Saturday as the Vermont School Nurse of the Year. Annually, the Vermont State School Nurses Association recognizes a school nurse for outstanding achievement and service. Wetzel was nominated by staff and community members for his dedication and competence.

“In addition to his strong daily practice, Clayton serves as a leader for our school and district, representing us on our district’s school health advisory council, furthering community health through liaisons with outside parties from dentists to psychologists, and helping to draft work around health and wellness for our district. While teaching health is not part of Clayton’s job responsibilities, he has been a supportive participant in health instruction, even willing to serve as the leader for the boys-only component of puberty instruction (something very valuable when the other instructors are female!). Additionally, in working with a colleague to create the Kids on the Run club for students in our school, Clayton has fostered an interest and opportunity for running that has been one of the most important and enjoyed experiences of several of our students and impacts our whole community in the example it provides,” school principal Kaiya Korb wrote.

Wetzel began working at Waitsfield Elementary School in 2012, starting in a part-time/job share position while also working in several other neighboring schools. He took over as the Waitsfield school nurse in the fall of 2014 and became a deeply respected member of the school community. In addition to doing his work for the students and staff, he serves on district leadership committees and work. Colleague Kathi Orr noted in her nomination form, “Clayton is like a solid tree with strong branches. His branches support the whole child (including their family), Waitsfield School community, the Harwood Unified Union School District community and the Vermont State School Nurses community. His positive impact in all areas of education and nursing should be recognized.”

Harwood Unified Union School District has been affiliated with three of the past 10 school nurses of the year; in addition to Wetzel, Harwood’s former school nurse, Linda King, and Wetzel’s predecessor, Sue Dillon, have all been recognized for their contributions to the field.