ECISD fetes nurse, health aide of the year

With refreshments and congratulations, Ector County Independent School District health providers Kristen Brame and Megan Belen were feted at Buice Elementary School.

Brame was named Nurse of the Year and Belen as school health aide of the year.

Brame is the nurse at Buice and Belen, a certified nursing assistant, is at Carver Early Education Center.

District Director of Nursing Services Laura Mathew said they received more than 12 nominations for registered nurses and school health aides. There is a committee that organized Wednesday’s event and decided on the nurse and school health aide of the year, she said.

The schools usually nominate them, although people from other campuses submit choices, as well. 

“They usually focus on their achievements and their ability to get along with people and they’re excellence in their work, so we’re very happy because we like both of them so it was good to have those two,” Mathew said.

Although it is only Brame’s second year with ECISD and her first at Buice, Mathew said she has been “dynamic” in her work.

“She has created a lot of opportunities for her students to do new and better things and she takes projects on like the playground safety equipment and she comes up with new ideas on how to make things better for kids,” Mathew said.

Brame said she taught at Odessa College and worked at Medical Center Hospital previously.

“… The staff has really learned a lot from her she presents a lot of educational presentations and she really goes out of the way to help a lot of people, so we’re very blessed to have her,” Mathew said.

Belen has been with ECISD for eight years, four years at Carver and four years at Blackshear and Milam elementary schools.

“She’s very helpful to her students. Also, even though she’s working as a school health aide, she’s very independent. She creates a lot of educational presentations for kids. She takes care of difficult cases sometimes, even children with diabetes. She has even educated us about autism, so she gives presentations, as well. She’s just super-reliable and very helpful and takes on additional work without complaining, so we love them both,” Mathew said.

Brame and Belen said she they were honored by the recognition.

Belen, who has been a certified nursing assistant since 2005, serves about 570 students at Carver.

“I love my school. I love to work at where I work in the nurse’s office. I have a lot of support from the nursing department and I just love my school,” Belen said.

She added that the staff is amazing and, “I just love them.”

Brame, a registered nurse who has been in nursing for 12 years, said being a school nurse is amazing. Buice has just under 700 students. 

“It is the best job I’ve ever had. You get to make such an impact on everybody’s lives and these kids really remember you and the effect you have on them …,” Brame said.

She added that winning Nurse of the Year was awesome.

“If I’m going to do anything, I want to do it the best and so I’m really, really pumped. I worked hard and I’m just thankful for everyone for nominating me,” Brame said.

Buice Principal Jessica Rickman said Brame has been enthusiastic and willing to help with anything and everything, “nurse-related or not.”

Dylan Brame, Kristen Brame’s husband, got tears in his eyes when he spoke of his wife.

“She puts 110 percent into it — wife, mom, nurse, educator. Sometimes it’s not the best thing. It can be stressful, but she really she does her best to help and help the campus out. She talks real highly of everybody that she works with … and the team,” Dylan Brame said.

“I didn’t think I was going to get emotional, but she definitely deserves it. We’ve been together for 15 years. I’ve been with her through starting nursing school, getting her RN, getting her bachelor’s degree, getting her master’s degree; a lot of hard work …,” Dylan Brame added.

He said the nurses are unsung heroes on the campuses.

Connie Franklin, a registered nurse at Dowling Elementary School and Carver, lauded Belen for her labors.

“She deserves it. She’s worked hard. She’s great to have on our team, so we’re proud for her,” Franklin said.