WARREN, NJ - Warren Middle School nurse Lisa Lontai has been awarded the Excellence in School Nursing Award for the State of New Jersey from the New Jersey State School Nurse Association (NJSSNA). This award is bestowed upon one school nurse within the entire state of NJ. Lontai has been with Warren Township Schools for 13 years and Warren Township Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Mingle recognized Lontai’s accomplishment during his comments at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.
The award recognizes school nurses nationwide who have” demonstrated excellence in school nursing practice and leadership in school health.”
“ We are proud to have you as the candidate representing New Jersey,” Lorraine Borek, President of NJSSNA, said in a letter congratulating Lontai on the award.
Excellence in School Nursing Award recipients must demonstrate greatness in each standard of school nursing: communication, collaboration and the application of evidence-based practice through effective leadership. Current and former colleagues recognize Lontai’s incredible impact on the health practices at Warren Middle School and made nominations on her behalf to the NJSSNA. “Working with Nurse Lontai is a very rewarding experience, she is proactive in her approach to educating the students of WMS on health and wellness.” - Mr. George Villar, WMS Principal.
Lontai is credited with creating an after-school club for girls aimed to reduce anxiety and stress. The club introduces physical fitness, Yoga, poetry, literature and journaling. Additionally, Lontai developed a second school club for students of all genders to help create a connected and positive environment that fosters self-perception, physical well-being and a sense of community through activities such as making vision boards, walking programs, journaling and organizing drives and collections for homeless shelters in the area.
During the school day, Lontai can be found in her office caring for the needs of individual students and staff but she also hosts a lunch-bunch group, encourages handwashing through student created videos, runs a food allergy program that discusses ways to reduce the chance of anaphylaxis while promoting self-care, participates in Walking Club and so much more.
Lontai does not limit her wealth of knowledge to only the students and staff members of WMS. In addition to clubs and daily responsibilities, Lontai meets with the WMS Parent Teacher Organization throughout the year to discuss topics such as nutrition, drug and alcohol awareness and stress/anxiety.
As a recipient of the Excellence in School Nursing Award, NJSSNA will cover the expenses of Lontai’s registration to the National Association of School Nurses annual conference in Denver, Colorado where Lontai will be in the running for national recognition for Excellence in School Nursing.
“Having this honor bestowed upon Nurse Lontai by her peers demonstrates her commitment not only to the students at Warren Middle School and throughout Warren Township but to the profession throughout the state as well,” says Dr. Matthew Mingle, Superintendent of Schools. “We are lucky to have Nurse Lontai representing school nurses in our region and the state and now, thanks to this award, at the national level.”
Pictures courtesy of Warren Township Schools: Lisa Lontai outside of her office at Warren Middle School.