November 2018 Winner - Julie Owen:(Vorthbeach)


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Meridian Star Article

Julie Owen loved her profession as a nurse so much she chose to share her knowledge with others who plan to pursue a career in healthcare.

Owen, who teaches health science, health care and clinical services at the Clarke County Career and Technology Development Center, was recognized as the Golden Apple teacher for November during a surprise ceremony Tuesday at Quitman High School.

"This is really huge, and I am so humbled to have been chosen," Owen said. "This award is because of past, present and hopefully future students."

Clarke County Career and Technology Development Center teacher Julie Owen is the November Golden Apple Award winner.

Tracy Dearing, director at the career center, described Owen as compassionate, kind, caring, loyal, hardworking and energetic.

"She brings a wealth of knowledge to her students while preparing them for future healthcare careers," Dearing said. "Her students love her and it shows. She is a very deserving recipient and I am honored to have her as part of the Clarke County Career and Technology Center team and a member of Panther Nation."

After graduating from Quitman High School, Owen studied at Meridian Community College where she received her associate degree in nursing. She worked for The Medical Group in Quitman for 17 years, then home health before deciding to teach.

"My mama was a nurse, and I always wanted to be a nurse," Owen said. "I really enjoyed that field, but with teaching, I'm able to bring that experience to the students, and show them how much opportunity is available with healthcare."

Adam Berry, a second-year student at the career center, said Owen is one of the best teachers not only at the career center but in the Quitman School District overall.

Quitman High School student Kaitlin Tucker acts as a patient while Jaureka Brown and Julie Owen, teacher and Golden Apple Award winner from Clarke County Career and Technology Development Center, study range of motion by exercising muscles in Health Science II.

"The reason I took this class is I want to be a nurse practitioner," Berry said. "She has helped prepare me for what I need for college. She does so much for us, and this has been a long time coming."

Jaureka Brown agrees.

"She deserves it and is one of the most wonderful teachers that you could ever have, and we love her very much," Brown said. "She is hands-on with us, making sure we learn the material."

Owen said hopefully students who go through the program will have more knowledge and more opportunities than the ones who don't. Some of the skills they will have when completing the program are: CPR certified, CNA skills – taking blood pressure, taking temperature, making a bed and a range of motion exercises.

"My first-year students get a lot of anatomy, physiology, and a lot of medical terminology, so they have that base foundation," Owen said. "Each unit in my class is geared toward a career path."

Owen said it's not just about nursing – students also get to job shadow during the program.

"They get to go out and job shadow at the hospital where they see x-ray technicians, doctors, nurse practitioners," Owens said. "They even job shadow at our local vets, dentists and eye doctors, so they get to see many different types of healthcare careers. They can even use their job shadowing experiences on their resume as a skill."

Healthcare careers are competitive so anything you can do to "standout" will make a difference when applying for a healthcare program in college, Owen said.

"Take HOSA for example, they are able to compete in healthcare careers which is a way to get scholarships to go to college," Owen said. "To be able to put that on your application when applying for college I think is very important.

"It all goes back to my students – that is the reason I am involved in HOSA because I want to see my students have every opportunity that is out there for them. They didn't offer an allied health program when I was in school – I would have been so excited."

Teamwork and character skills are also important when going into the job force – lessons Owen said the career center strives to instill in their students.

"You can be academically very smart, but if you don't have the discipline to set your alarm every day and go to work, you won't be at work very long," Owen said.

"We try to instill the skills that employers will be able to see in our students when they go out to work." One of the most important lessons students should learn about healthcare – compassion for the patient.

"Remember that person is still a patient when you are taking care of them," Owen said. "Technology has been really great, and so many advancements have been made, but it always goes back to the patients care."

Owen said she loves her community but encourages her students to venture out.

"I tell them some of you will come back and invest in this community, but go and be as much as you can be – then come back," Owen said.