Charlotte Sidway Elementary School’s new nurse, Tara Kowalik, was born and raised in Western New York. She earned her nursing degree from Niagara University in 2001 and has worked at ECMC and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She started with the Grand Island School District on Feb. 5.
As a teenager, she met her future husband at a Grand Island Middle School dance through an introduction from her cousin. She and her husband have two daughters, both of whom began their education at Sidway Elementary. While they were still young, she was unexpectedly offered a nursing position in Maui, Hawaii.
“We packed up all of our belongings into four suitcases, jumped on a plane, and had a seven-year Polynesian adventure,” she said. “I worked in the operating room at the only hospital on the whole island and was able to care for so many people in the community. Eventually we were ready to return home to our family back on Grand Island, and I was honored to be offered this position. In becoming Sidway's school nurse, I'm able to continue doing what I love, working with and caring for the members of my community. Thank you all for welcoming me back home.”