- Rising Starr Middle School
Caring for the community: Kedron nurse Harper keeps kids safe, healthy
When parents send their children to Kedron Elementary each day, they know they are in good hands with school nurse Diani Harper.
After working as a labor and delivery nurse, Harper jumped at the chance become Kedron’s school nurse last year. Every day is different, but there is plenty of routine. She usually sees between 30 and 60 kids a day, a mix of regular appointments and spur of the moment visits.
“It takes a village to raise a kid, and I’m part of that village I feel like.”
Her father was a refugee who came to the US from Cuba at 6 and went into the military. She was born in California but traveled around, including 4 years in Alaska. The family eventually settled in Columbus, Georgia.
The importance of education was instilled in her at an early age. She went to college to become a teacher and taught 11th grade US History for one year, but something wasn’t clicking.
“Something was kind of gnawing at me that maybe this wasn’t my path.”
Looking for another way to serve her community, she went to nursing school, and she was a labor and delivery nurse for 8 years.
“You’re there for that somebody’s most important day of their life,” she said. “It will always hold a special place in my heart.”
After she gave birth to her third kid, she stayed home a couple years. When she was ready to return to the workforce, she wanted a bit of a change.
“It’s a difficult schedule being a nurse. You’re working holidays, you’re working weekends. I’ve missed many a Christmas and Thanksgiving,” she said. “I felt like I needed to go back after that two years, but I have small kids and I didn’t want to miss out on their life either.”
She is determined to help every student feel safe and loved while they are at school.
“Community’s just always been important to me. I love working with kids, and I love watching them succeed,” she said. “I like being part of that team to help a student maintain their day here at school.”
“The Honor Role,” an official podcast for Fayette County Public Schools, features employees, rotating through key stakeholders, including teachers, staff, nurses, custodians, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers. Join us as we dive in and learn about their journeys, their inspirations, and their whys.
Episodes are available on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and promoted on the social media channels of Fayette County Public Schools.
Episodes will also be available here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2200811.