Position: School Nurse
School: Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School
School District: Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School District
City, State: Rumson, New Jersey
About the Nominee: Linda Nill was nominated by a member of the community, Charles Melita. When Mr. Melita and his family lost their son, an RFH '09 graduate named Robert, the community support they received was overwhelming. Soon afterwards, he and his wife reached out to Mr. Timothy Hogan, president of Riverview Medical Center, a community hospital where they have both been engaged for more than 20 years. "The community was so supportive to our needs at our time of loss," they told Mr. Hogan. "What can we do to give back to the community?" Mr. Hogan immediately put them in touch with the hospital's community relations team and the American Heart Association. Together, they developed a program called A Community of Life Savers. Its goal was to train 5,000 high school students in Monmouth and Ocean Counties on proper CPR techniques and how to use AED Defibrillators.
The program's first stop was RFH Regional High School, where Ms. Nill welcomed them with open arms. With Ms. Nill's leadership and the support of administration, faculty and students, the program staff began to develop a plan for training the faculty, community members and a student body in excess of 1,000 students. Ms. Nill developed a plan to train more than 700 students in 1 day. The training of these students went off without a hitch, and RFH became the flagship school for subsequent trainings. Ms. Nill provided outstanding leadership and communication while reaching this milestone. She was called upon by many other schools to share her knowledge and skill set, which led the program to reach its goal of training more than 5,000 students. Ultimately, A Community of Life Savers was signed into New Jersey law, making it mandatory for all high school students to be trained in CPR.
None of this would have been possible without the support and commitment of Ms. Nill. Her inspiration and support for the cause changed the lives of Mr. Melita and his family!