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Caring for Our Kids

Meet our school nurses: Their responsibilities have never been greater, and neither has their passion for caring for our kids!

Ball Elementary School Nurse - Michelle Lowy, RN

Michelle Lowy, RN
Michelle Lowy, RN

Mrs. Michelle Lowy, RN, began with the Ball-Chatham School District in November 2018, serving as Glenwood High School’s nurse. She transferred this past summer to serve as Ball Elementary School’s nurse. Prior to coming to our District, she served as a registered nurse for Anchor Home Health Care, and IEMA. She has also been a research scientist for SIU School of Medicine, and Northwestern University School of Medicine. In 2010, she was named SIU School of Medicine’s “Researcher of the Year,” in the Pharmacology Department. She is a member of the Beta, Beta, Beta Biological Honor Society; Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; and Kappa Nu Nursing Honor Society.

Michelle graduated from Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, Illinois in 1979. She then received her bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology from Lake Forest College in 1983. She also attended Quincy University, pursuing her master’s degree in Secondary Ed. in 2006-07; and graduated from LLCC in 2017 with her associate’s degree in Nursing.

About her profession, she says she loves interacting with the kids the most! She believes the challenges with the position include managing kids with chronic conditions, and managing school nursing during the COVID pandemic.

Michelle is married to Barry; and they have two children, Abe and Josh. On her own time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and sewing.

Chatham Elementary School Nurse - Travis Rath, RN, MSN

Travis Rath, RN, MSN
Travis Rath, RN, MSN

Mr. Travis Rath, RN, MSN, began as Chatham Elementary School’s nurse in July 2018. He previously served at a Charge Nurse at Memorial Medical Center.

Travis, a Glenwood grad (Class of 2000), received his bachelor’s degree in nursing from MacMurray College, and his master’s degree in nursing from McKendree University. He is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing.

About his profession, he says he loves the schedule that being a school nurse provides, as it allows more time to spend with his two sons, Garrett and Tanner. Plus, he says he’s always been a pediatric nurse at heart, so this gives him the best of both worlds!

He believes the challenges with the position are particularly difficult this year, trying to sustain schooling for students while adhering to State mandates and guidelines.

On his own time, he coaches youth hockey and baseball. “I loved playing both sports myself,” he says, “and I enjoy fishing and traveling to see the wonders of the world.”

Glenwood Elementary School Nurse - Austin Lynch, RN

Austin Lynch, RN
Austin Lynch, RN

Mr. Austin Lynch, RN, began as Glenwood Elementary School’s nurse in August 2020. He previously served as an RN Care Facilitator for four years at HSHS St. John’s Hospital, as well as an orthopedic nurse.

Austin graduated from Benton Consolidated High School in Benton, Illinois. In 2016, he graduated from Rend Lake College with a nursing degree.

About his profession, he says he chose to go into nursing because he wanted to help people. “Nursing gives me the ability to do that, while also opening the door to many unique career opportunities,” he says. “But I chose to go into school nursing because I love working with children. This position gives me the opportunity to advocate for the students and collaborate with many different specialties.”

Austin is married to Kelcie, who is also a teacher for the Ball-Chatham School District, at Glenwood Intermediate School.

On his own time, he enjoys football, comic books, and scary movies.

Glenwood Intermediate School Nurse - Tina Huber, RN

Tina Huber, RN
Tina Huber, RN

Mrs. Tina Huber, RN, began serving as Glenwood Intermediate School's nurse in December 2016. Prior to coming to our District, she had served as a Registered Nurse for over 22 years in many fascinating areas: Cardiopulmonary, Family Practice, Chemotherapy Infusion, Oncology, and Women’s Health Care.

She graduated from Jacksonville High School and went on to receive her nursing degree at Lincoln Land Community College. She also studied abroad, in 2012, at Jerusalem University College in Israel - she says, “Just for fun!”

About her profession, she says she loves helping others. “Nursing is one of those careers that gives you an opportunity to learn and explore different areas in the medical profession, different people, and cultural groups,” she says. “I also love that medicine and science are always advancing. I learn new information every day….especially now!”

Being a nurse isn’t always easy, however. Tina says that being a school nurse, or just a nurse in general, challenges her physically, emotionally, and spiritually. “My biggest challenge is taking care of myself while taking care of others,” she adds.

Tina is married to Mark and has a son, Otto, and daughter, Olivia. She also has two grandsons, Theo and Jonah. On her own time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, and going on adventures.

Glenwood Middle School Nurse - Brittany Bentley, RN, Certified School Nurse

Brittany Bentley, RN
Brittany Bentley, RN

Ms. Brittany Bentley, RN, Certified School Nurse, began serving at Glenwood Middle School in September 2020. Previous to joining our District, she was a nurse in the Cardiovascular ICU at a local hospital.

Brittany graduated from Glenwood High School in 2015, and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Nursing with a minor in Spanish, from Quincy University / Blessing Rieman College of Nursing. While at Quincy University, Brittany was on the Dean’s List all four years, and on the President’s List for Blessing Rieman College of Nursing. She received the “Outstanding Student in Clinical Leadership Excellence” award and the “Daisy” award nomination while at school. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing Honor Society).

About her profession, she says that her favorite part is showing people that I care about them and that I am always here for them by providing the best care possible. She believes that the biggest challenge in the nursing profession is for nurses to remember to take care of themselves.

On her own time, she enjoys playing with her dog, Ollie, and baking.

Glenwood High School Nurses - Bridget Reynolds & Emily Kwedar

Bridget Reynolds, RN
Bridget Reynolds, RN

Mrs. Bridget Reynolds, RN, began as Glenwood High School’s school nurse in August 2019. She had served the district for six months prior to being hired full time as a substitute nurse in many of our schools. She has been a nurse for 20 years and has worked with adults and children in various settings and capacities such as a physician office, adult and child psychiatry, and in a medical/surgical unit.

Bridget graduated from Rochester High School, then went on to earn her associate’s degree in Applied Science/Nursing, from Lincoln Land Community College.

She says she chose to go into nursing because she has always liked taking care of others. “My grandma was sick a lot when I was growing up,” says Bridget. “I was in the hospital several times with her and I really saw myself doing that type of work. Blood has never bothered me I knew I would do something along those lines. I have always known it was the right choice.”

As much as she loves working with our students, she thinks that the amount of paperwork is a challenge to keep up with. “The amount of paperwork is definitely one of the challenges in nursing no matter what area one chooses,” she says. “Documentation is needed and therefore we all deal with the paperwork or computer entry.”

Bridget is married to Scott, and they have two children, Shelbey and Aryia. On her own time, she enjoys running their BBQ trailer with her husband, working in her yard, and spending time with her family.

Emily Kwedar, RN, BSN
Emily Kwedar, RN, BSN

Mrs. Emily Kwedar, RN, BSN, was hired to serve as Glenwood High School’s second school nurse, but also serves the District’s other schools/nurses as needed. She currently is working alongside Tina Huber at GIS. Prior to coming to Ball-Chatham, she served as a registered nurse in acute care specializing in orthopedic, neurology, and medical-surgical patients; and as an athletic trainer in various high schools and club sports throughout the Chicagoland area.

Emily graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 2008. From there she went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training in 2012 from Olivet Nazarene University - graduating Magna Cume Laude. In 2017, she studied at Kankakee Community College and received her registered nursing degree; then in 2019 at the University of St. Francis she earned her second bachelor’s degree, this time in Nursing. While at the Univ. of St. Francis, she received the Sister M. Priscilla Sapp Award and was inducted into the Alpha Delta Nu- ETA Chapter - Nursing Honors Society.

About her chosen profession, she says she loves helping children stay healthy and learn about healthy habits. “I believe it is a privilege to be a part of a community that supports and encourages children to not only strive for healthy habits educationally but emotionally and physically as well.”

Emily believes the challenges that come with the nursing profession are numerous at times. “Like today,” she says, “as a school and community, our world has changed in facing new health challenges that have challenged school nurses, administrators, and teachers to think outside the box and create new and sustainable ways to keep everyone healthy and safe throughout this school year.”

Emily is married to Ben, who also serves the Ball-Chatham School District as an assistant principal at Chatham Elementary School.

On her own time, she enjoys traveling, exercising, reading, boating, attending sporting events, and spending time with her family and friends. Their 4-year-old chocolate lab, Chief, keeps both her and her husband on their toes with his endless amount of energy!