Staff Spotlight Honorees: Katy Corrigan & Mike Ribar
In 2011 when Katy Corrigan left her job as an RN at Fairview Hospital to become District Nurse for the Lakewood Schools, she did so because she thought she could make a bigger difference working with students. She was right. The health services available to our students that help keep them in school have expanded greatly since 2011, and Katy is a main reason why.
When Corrigan started with the District, in-school screenings consisted solely of dental screenings in the elementary schools. Today, all our students have access to not only dental screenings, but vision exams, a medical clinic at the high school, on-site mobile clinic visits at all of our schools, and new this year, in-school flu shots. She works tirelessly to make sure families are aware of these services, many of which families have difficulty accessing on their own.
“These services allow a child to feel better and stay in school and that is very rewarding,” Corrigan says.
In addition to managing the screening programs and appointments for the mobile clinics, Corrigan oversees the District’s 10 school health aides. That oversight includes providing them training in CPR, first aid and medicine administration. She provides this training to secretaries and some administrators as well.
“Katy is a kind and caring individual that not only supports myself but my fellow health aides in the District,” says Roosevelt Elementary Health Aide, Diana Kantor.
In addition to her training responsibilities, Corrigan teaches CPR in the middle school and high school health classes, she offers CPR training to staff every month and she volunteers her time to offer hands-only CPR to the community in the evenings.
Corrigan manages to fit all of this in while also tracking every student’s immunization records to compile reports for the State. She also tackled the daunting job of converting all student health records from paper to digital.
It’s a lot to handle, but Katy makes it look easy. Says Grant Elementary Health Aide Melissa Diemert: “Katy wears many, many hats and does an amazing job balancing all of them.”
Mike Ribar’s title at Lakewood City Academy is Behavioral Specialist, but according to his colleagues, he’s more like the LCA House Dad – greeting students at the door each morning and always there with an ear, a helping hand and unwavering support.
Ribar joined LCA in 2009. In his role as Behavioral Specialist, Ribar monitors student behavior and any concerns or disciplinary issues. He says of his job: “I make sure we all get through the day and that one student doesn’t affect others’ (learning).”
His role may sound like that of an enforcer, but his calm manner, humor and easy rapport with students makes him a school favorite.
“Mike is warm-hearted, funny, and kind, and serves as a great role model for all the students at Lakewood City Academy,“ says LCA secretary Mona Atfield, one of Ribar's eight nominators.
Ribar, who was a star athlete at Lakewood High and later Kent State, has been the varsity head coach of Lakewood High baseball for nine years and credits his lifelong involvement in sports and coaching for his ability to reach and motivate such a varied group of young people.
“Growing up in sports, you learn that everyone is different and you can’t always treat everyone the same way,” Ribar says. That is why he strives to build relationships with the students so he knows just what he or she needs in order to stay motivated to learn. His colleagues attest that Ribar always has just the right touch, whether it is calm reassurance or tough love.
And his impact extends beyond the students.
“(Mike) knows how to make everyone, students and staff, smile even on tough days,” says nominator Rachel Gerges.
Added nominator and LCA teacher Melissa McCarthy: “The students love and respect him and I don't know what the staff would do without him.”
Simply put, says LCA’s Emily DePauw, “he's the glue that holds this building together.”