During her career, she has become an expert on AIDS education and has worked to integrate it into health education, science, and food and sports nutrition. As such, she worked with high school students in the design and printing of an HIV-themed calendar.
Stark has been instrumental in obtaining grants to assist with special projects. She has written and received grants from the Education Alliance, Beckley Area Foundation, the Raleigh County Medical Auxiliary, and Safe and Drug Free Schools. She is currently seeking funds to produce a local video on diabetes for school personnel, starring county students who are living with diabetes.
“Ms. Stark has made a lasting impression on her students that will help them live healthier lives,” said West Virginia Board of Education President Howard Persinger. “Practicing good health is vital to a child’s education and our school nurses play an important role in providing the tools children need to succeed.”
Wanting to make a lasting impression on her younger students, Stark usually dresses the part when she presents her education programs. She has been known to appear as the “Tooth Fairy” when explaining oral health or as “Safety Bee” when teaching about Halloween safety.
“School nurses are such an invaluable asset to the school system, not just in West Virginia, but across the nation,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “I commend all school nurses for promoting good health and wellness to all of our students, faculty and staff.”
The other four finalists were: Jane Ishman, Berkeley County; Constance Loy, Kanawha County; Patricia Mays, Pleasants County; and Judith Riba, Marshall County.
Stark succeeds 2002 West Virginia School Nurse of the Year Theresa Bayer of Wood County, who is also one of six finalists for the National School Nurse of the Year.