Pott. County educators, staff partake in COVID vaccine clinic

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Jaime Griggs, Assistant Principal at Tecumseh High School, receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination from Tecumseh School Nurse Lindsey Phelps at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee.
Tiffany Johnson, first grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School, receiving her vaccine from Shawnee Public Schools District Heath Coordinator LaRita Haffey.
Assistant Principal at Shawnee Middle School Keely Tolin receiving her COVID-19 vaccine from District Heath Coordinator LaRita Haffey.
Physical Education teacher at Shawnee Middle School Larry James getting his COVID-19 vaccine.

Nearly a thousand Pottawatomie County educators and school staff members participated in a COVID-19 vaccine clinic Thursday and Friday hosted by the Pottawatomie County Health Department and SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee.

According to Angi Mohr, President of SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee, the hospital was happy to work with the health department and provide this opportunity to districts.

“Teachers and education staff do very important work as they help shape the minds of our youngest community members and it’s important to us to keep them healthy," Mohr said.

Tecumseh Public School Assistant Superintendent Robert Kinsey said around 126 faculty and staff received their first of the Moderna vaccine shot Thursday, Feb. 25.

"This includes teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers and other staff members," Kinsey said.

He explained he was among those who received the vaccine and everyone will get their second shot March 25 and 26.

According to Superintendent Tom Wilsie, the district is grateful to the health department and the hospital for giving this opportunity to educators and education staff members.

"By providing the facilities, the staffing and the materials for the vaccination clinic, this effort has been a great boost for our educators and staff," Wilsie said. "It has been a major undertaking for them and one that we believe will be highly beneficial to the schools in our district and throughout the county."

While teachers and staff members received the shot, Kinsey said nurses from the schools administered the shots as well.

In addition to Tecumseh, around 300 Shawnee Public School educators and staff received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Feb. 26.

According to Superintendent Dr. April Grace, she appreciates the chance educators and staff have been given to receive the vaccine.

"I am grateful for the work of SSM health, especially Jana McQuain, for coordinating this vaccine opportunity for our teachers and staff," Grace said. "We know that the vaccine along with other mitigation efforts are extremely important steps to return to as much normalcy as possible for our students and community."

The other districts who participated in the vaccine clinic included Asher, Bethel, Dale, Earlsboro, Maud, Macomb, McLoud, South Rock Creek, North Rock Creek, Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Grove and Pleasant Grove.