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Clinic Assistant Karen Thimsen named Finalist for Clinic Assistant of the Year Award

Thimsen holding up her award with a smile.

Thimsen holding up her award with a smile.

A&E and Opinions Editor Daniel Jimenez

A&E and Opinions Editor Daniel Jimenez

Thimsen holding up her award with a smile.


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315 weekly students. Three common illnesses. One Clinic Assistant.

This Clinic Assistant is none other than the school’s very own Karen Thimsen, who on Dec. 1 was named second runner-up for Fulton County Schools’ (FCS) Constance Babette Vlahos Clinic Assistant of the Year Award.

Thimsen was honored with the award at the 8th Annual School Nurse and Clinic Assistant Conference, which is a conference hosted by FCS’ Student Health Services (SHS) Department. This is where the county’s health professionals train for the following school year.  

The award is named after last year’s inaugural clinic assistant of the year, Bebatte Vlahos, as she is currently battling brain cancer. Vlahos was Centennial High School’s former clinic assistant, whose main cause was children with asthma.   

Thimsen was given the award for her outstanding dedication to the well-being of students’ health. Thimsen said that it’s an honor for her to be recognized by the county, as it’s a job she really enjoys.

“I always feel greatly appreciated by our administrators, and I feel that with this award the county has recognized my dedication,” said Thimsen. “I just love coming in each day to either talk, cry or laugh with students.”    

Thimsen also said that it was an honor to win the award in Vlahos’ name, as she remembers a lot of tears being shed that day.  

In order to win theses award, an administrator from the clinic assistant’s school must fill out a questionnaire that relates to performance and character, as all of the county’s clinic assistants are nominated by default. After that, a group of cluster nurses review the questionnaires and decide the winners.   

Cluster nurses are registered, CPR trained nurses who are in charge of a specific set of schools and act as clinic assistants’ bosses.

Ninth grade Assistant Principal Kim Premoli was the administrator who filled out Thimsen’s questionnaire. She said that Thimsen definitely deserves the award, as she organizes flu shots for the whole staff and makes sure students are just generally doing well.  

“She goes above and beyond in her cause of making sure everyone is doing fine,” said Premoli. “It shows that she’s caring just like her name, [Karen], sincere pro-active and diligent.”

Junior Imogen Guest said that Thimsen is more than deserving of the award.

“She should have gotten first place instead of the second runner-up,” said Guest. “She’s way too nice to not receive an award like that.”

In the end, Thimsen said that this award has inspired her to keep improving on what she can do for one specific group of people: the students.

“It has motivated me to set a high bar for the students,” said Thimsen.

Despite “falling into the job” as she described it and graduating with a degree in media public relations, Thimsen said she would never consider changing her current job.

“I would never go back, as I’m perfectly happy with what I’m doing now,” said Thimsen. “I honestly believe that wouldn’t be the case if I’ve stopped being the Clinic Assistant of Cambridge.”  

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Clinic Assistant Karen Thimsen named Finalist for Clinic Assistant of the Year Award