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Remembering Dr. Mary Newell

During the May 8 board meeting, we recognized the important work of our school nurses and honored a beloved member of our Kent School District family who passed away earlier this year, Dr. Mary Newell.  Dr. Mary Newell

Dr. Newell passed away in October after supporting our nursing staff members as a Nurse Facilitator for 17 years. During that time, she became known for her sense of humor and encouraging her staff to always keep learning and growing.  

“Mary didn’t draw attention to her many accomplishments, like being a published author and a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow” Lyndy Baron, a school nurse at Kent-Meridian High School and Meridian Middle School, said. “When she was having a stressful day, she prescribed herself a happy meal." 

Throughout her time as part of Team KSD, it was clear Dr. Newell was dedicated to helping students.   

“Mary was an extremely caring person and a strong advocate for children,” Randy Heath, executive director of student and family support services, said. “She was passionate about her work with families and in educating others on the important role that school nurses play in the success of kids. The void felt by her passing has been significant.”  

Dr. Newell was recognized as a National Leader to Learn From by Education Week in 2014 for her leadership in student wellness. In the article, she said nursing was the most rewarding career one could ever have and described the importance of looking at the whole student and taking social, emotional, and physical health needs into consideration. 

During the board meeting, Dr. Newell's sons presented a quilt their mother had made that will be displayed in a shadowbox Kent-Meridian High School Teacher Matt Durre made.Quilt Mary Newell made

“When Dr. Mary Newell passed away earlier this year, she left behind a legacy to the families of Kent,” Heath said. “The work Mary put into designing and implementing practices and procedures continues to help ensure that students in the Kent School District have the necessary supports they need to access their education.” 

Thank you for your years of dedication and supporting our students, Mary. You are dearly missed.