Mary Holderness has been hired as the school health coordinator and educator for Moss Street Partnership School, which is operated by the UNC Greensboro School of Education in partnership with Rockingham County Schools in North Carolina. She started this week and will promote health and wellness for students at the Reidsville elementary school.
The new school health coordinator and educator position is partially funded through a grant from The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation. The UNCG School of Nursing and the School of Education also provided joint funding for the position.
Holderness will coordinate the health program at Moss Street Partnership School, as well as serve as a liaison in the rural, underserved community. She will educate students, their families, and school faculty and staff members. She will also help develop a health center and a new clinical practice site for UNCG undergraduate nursing students to receive hands-on training at Moss Street Partnership School with a focus on school and community health.
“This initiative is a terrific example of a public/private collaboration to meet the needs of vulnerable school-aged children and to provide innovative learning experiences for our nursing students,” said Dr. Robin Remsburg, dean of the UNCG School of Nursing.
Holderness has served as a school nurse in the Guilford County School District for the past eight years following her time at Cone Health System. She has also worked as a program coordinator with the March of Dimes in Rockingham County. She earned a bachelor of science in public health education from UNCG in 1978, and she returned to the university and completed her bachelor of science in nursing in 1986. She is nationally board certified as a school nurse.
In December, the UNCG School of Nursing was awarded a $100,000 grant from The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation to bring innovative nursing practices to at-risk students at Moss Street Partnership School. The School of Nursing has used a portion of the grant, which runs through 2023, to develop the full-time school health coordinator and educator position.
“Mary Holderness will be an asset to the UNCG School of Nursing and Moss Street Partnership School as she brings her experience in school health to help our students understand the interconnectedness of education and health, the role of nurses in schools, and how school health can impact the whole community,” said Dr. Audrey Snyder, associate dean for experiential learning and innovation for the UNCG School of Nursing.
The Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation was organized in 1999 to make gifts in Surry, Randolph, and Guilford counties. Education is the primary focus of the foundation. Additional areas of interest include programs for children and youth, efforts to reduce poverty, and enhancement of parks, recreation, and the quality of life.