The heartbeat of Valley High School: School nurse shows community spirit

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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For many who now serve the community where they were born and raised, community pride flows in their veins. That is especially true of Jenna Landrum, Valley High School’s nurse. 

Landrum has had the fulfilling experience of working at the high school where she graduated in 2007. 

While at school, Landrum was a cheerleader and her brother was a football player. While her father, brother and cousin all teach in Chambers County School District, she somewhat broke from tradition to study nursing at Southern Union.

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Growing up, Landrum and her brother always posed in their uniforms for portraits with her father, a WF Burns teacher and coach.

“At the bottom, it would always say ‘family tradition,’” Landrum said. “It’s so funny that now, looking back, I would have never guessed I’d be a school nurse in the school system, my brother would be a teacher, and then my dad would be a retired teacher. So we’ve kept up with that family tradition.”

With so many family ties, Landrum lives and breathes Valley High School spirit. 

“The class that I graduated with, I’m telling you, we bled Orange and Blue,” Landrum said. “We were nothing but school pride.”

Landrum and her husband have raised their two sons, Mason and Bo, in Valley. Landrum’s husband owns his own company, providing produce to the schools. After working at the hospital in many other areas, Landrum decided to apply for a position to serve the students of district. 

“I do feel like that’s what our community is with Valley,” Landrum said. “It’s a family sewed into a family. Because you spend so much time with everybody, you kind of adapt to their schedule, and other people’s kids become your kids too.”

Being a mother to two active boys has given Landrum insight into her job. As a school nurse, her duty is serve students but also accept that their parents have the final say. 

“I’m thankful that I am a parent so I can step back and remember that they’re thinking and doing what they think is best for their own child,” she said. “So I have to respect that because what I think is right for my child, somebody else might not think is good for theirs.”

Last year, Landrum was able to supply a hygiene bar for the students through donation from the community. The bar provides deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine sanitary products and travel shampoo and conditioner. 

“I wouldn’t have been able to do that do that if it wasn’t for people in the community,” Landrum said.

Coming home to Valley High was bittersweet for Landrum because she worried that the school pride had dwindled since her years there. However, she said many alumni who have returned to the school and those in the central office have brought back the spirit she remembers. 

“That’s exciting to see,” Landrum said. “I’m very excited to be a part of it.”

Landrum said Peyton Gregory, school counselor, Brittany McDonald, secretary, Mia Crim, office staff, and Chelsea Bunn, science teacher, are some VHS personnel who have made a huge impact.

Now that she is at Valley High, Landrum said she can’t imagine being anywhere else. She enjoys being a part of teaching her students accountability and serving their needs.

“We’re teaching these kids to become more than kids and to be able to stand on a solid foundation for the rest of their life,” Landrum said.

In her spare time, Landrum and her family spend a lot of time outdoors and playing sports. Her family is also very close with her brother’s and cousin’s families. She recently began making handpainted banners.