Morris Welcomes The Challenges Of Leading Health Services
(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Shentrell Morris was promoted to Cedar Hill Independent School District’s Director of Health Services, upon approval by the CHISD Board of Trustees on Monday night.
“Cedar Hill ISD is grateful for Ms. Morris’ service to the district, and we are confident that she will bring the same qualities of professionalism, empathy and dedication to the new position,” CHISD Superintendent Dr. Gerald Hudson said.
Morris, a Registered Nurse who had worked as the campus nurse at Cedar Hill High School since 2013, began her new position on Tuesday and welcomes the challenge of leading Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“We want to make sure that Cedar Hill ISD knows that we have a Health Services Department that is there for them,” Morris said. “We all have different jobs and responsibilities. We’re working on the same team because it takes all of us to get things done.”
Morris succeeds Pamela Reese-Taylor, who retired from the position of Director of Health Services in February. Morris said she had opportunities to learn from Reese-Taylor and is glad that she’s only a phone call away, in the event that she has a question.
No Stranger To Working Under Pressure
Morris oversees a staff of 12, including three registered nurses, three licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) and six clinical aides. She plans to hire more staff in the near future.
“We have to make sure that everyone stays healthy, and individuals who are sick stay distanced from those who are not,” Morris said.
Morris enjoyed working as the campus nurse at Cedar Hill High School.
“You are able to make decisions and to educate the scholars,” Morris said. “It was great to see them learn things. If they have chronic conditions, they learned how to take care of themselves.”
During the Pre-COVID days, the campus had scholars who served as clinic aides and would assist the nursing staff.
Morris is accustomed to working professionally, under pressure.
From Louisiana To Texas
After growing up in New Orleans and earning an Associate’s Degree from Delgado Community College’s Charity School of Nursing, Morris worked as a Critical Care Nurse in Bogalusa, Louisiana – about 75 miles north of New Orleans.
Morris was working at a hospital in Bogalusa when Hurricane Katrina devastated the region in 2005.
“It was really difficult to be able to travel home that night,” Morris said. “The nurses almost had to stay overnight, because the nurses who were working the next shift had a hard time traveling to the hospital. Trees and power lines were down everywhere.”
The hospital staff was able to evacuate some, but not all, of the patients.
Morris’ children evacuated to Baton Rouge, about 100 miles west of Bogalusa, before the Hurricane reached southeastern Louisiana.
Although Bogalusa didn’t have the extensive flooding that New Orleans did, the damage was still considerable.
“I didn’t decide to move, Hurricane Katrina decided,” Morris said.
Morris moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has lived in the Best Southwest region for about 15 years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree – both in Nursing – from the University of Texas-Arlington.
In 2013, she became a school nurse after many years of working as a critical care nurse.
Earlier this year, she dedicated a few days to work as a nurse in a local hospital, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Morris relieved overworked nurses during that time.