September 17, 2021
Andover, Mass. – Andover Public Schools Director of Nursing Rita Casper, MBA RN NCSN is a recipient of the 2021 Community Service Award from the Andover Chamber of Commerce (ACC). The celebration took place this morning at the ACC’s Annual Meeting to acknowledge the dedication of health care professionals in the Merrimack Valley and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent of Andover Public Schools, Dr. Magda Parvey and School Committee Chairperson Susan McCready presented Ms. Casper with her award today.
“While I’ve only known Rita for a few months, I know that her years of service to our district has benefited the health and well-being of our entire community,” notes Dr. Parvey. “As a first responder, Rita approaches her work with a commitment and dedicated focus on public health. Her collaboration with our school nurses, Tom Carbone and the town’s Health Division has allowed us to approach the COVID-19 crisis as a team. Their work together has strengthened the town’s ability to protect those we serve.”
“Rita and our nurses worked as a team and encouraged, comforted, and led our district reopening during the pandemic with fortitude, gentleness, and grace,” adds Susan McCready, Andover School Committee chairperson. “Rita and her team model what is best about APS, teamwork, leadership and dedication to their profession. It is an honor to recognize their work.”
Andover Director of Public Health Tom Carbone and Dr. Glenn Newsome of Lawrence General Hospital were also recipients of the Community Service Award. The APS nurse team was commended for their service to the community.
“Every year, the Andover Chamber celebrates the great contributions made by outstanding individuals, but this year was unique in so many ways,” adds Paul Salafia, Andover Chamber Chairman. “We owe a debt of gratitude to these amazing people who, often at their own risk, have given us all a path to live a more normal life.”
Casper is a 16-year veteran at Andover Public Schools and leads the district’s nursing team. Throughout her tenure, Casper has led numerous public health initiatives for the district’s staff and students, including the CPR program, influenza and COVID-19 vaccination clinics, and the health courses taught at the TOP program, which serves Andover and North Andover students from ages 18-22. Casper’s expertise has earned her international recognition. In 2019, she traveled to Sweden, where she presented on the role of the School Nurse in substance abuse prevention in response to the opioid crisis.