Strozier named TCSS Nurse of the Year

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Bernice Strozier had a life-changing moment a few years ago, and it left her looking for a change in work environment.

Strozier’s husband of 35 years passed away three years ago, and it led to her becoming a school nurse after 20 years in long-term care and in the hospital.

Now, the Southern Union graduate splits her work weeks up at Callaway Middle School and LaGrange High School and has been named the 2018-19 Troup County School System Nurse of the Year.

“It was an honor just to be nominated, and then when I won, I was just like ‘I can’t believe this, my peers think that much of me,’” Strozier said.

One student at Callaway brightens her week with an inside joke when he comes in to take his ADD medicine.

On the days that Stozier isn’t in her Callaway office, the student leaves her a handwritten note on her door that she’s fired because she wasn’t there for him.

“When I come back [to Callaway], I’ll tell him, ‘oh you fired me,’” Strozier said. “Then he’ll say ‘no! That note was not from me.’ I’ll ask him ‘well, isn’t this your name?’ And he’ll respond like ‘oops, someone must’ve put that there.’”

Interactions like that have made her new career choice fulfilling for Strozier in the newest chapter of her career.

Strozier said she catches herself on the verge of treating the students as her own children.

“Sometimes I’ll talk to them and say ‘come on now,’” she said. “‘You know you’ve got to do this. You’ve got to do that.’ I’ll catch myself and tell myself that is not my job.”

Saturday marked the end of Nurse Appreciation Week, and Strozier said this latest acknowledgment makes her feel the love more than ever.