Sierra Qahero


Q&A with Our New Health Coordinator

The Northwest School is excited to welcome Sierra Maxwell to the community as the school’s new Health Coordinator. Sierra worked with the Phoenix Fire Department on their Crisis Response Unit while earning her degree in Nonprofit Management at Arizona State. Additionally, she received her Emergency Medical Certification from Arizona Academy of Emergency Services.

In her role, Sierra is focused on the prevention, monitoring, and management of health matters for the Northwest community, including strategizing how to prevent and reduce the spread of infectious disease through education and training, implementing a surveillance system to monitor and track rates of illness, and developing protocols for the school’s response to an employee, student, or family member with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

See below for a quick Q&A with Sierra.

What excites you most about working in a school environment?

It is truly inspiring to be surrounded by individuals who are constantly teaching, learning, and collaborating with one another. What excites me the most about The Northwest School is everyone’s undeniable dedication to creating an environment that is all inclusive. To have the opportunity to work in an environment where you can be your true self is a daily gratitude for me.

What are some of the specialized trainings you have received with regards to the pandemic, and how does that training apply in a school environment?

I have participated in extensive trainings provided by Joffe Emergency Services as well as Johns Hopkins University. These trainings include, but are not limited to, Pandemic Coordinator Training, COVID-19 Contact Tracing, and Psychological First Aid. I continue to engage in ongoing trainings as they are offered, to further expand my knowledge base. Most of my trainings were designed specifically for this role of Health Coordinator within schools.

What will be your first point of focus now that you are at The Northwest School?

My attention and focus are divided among many different aspects here at The Northwest School. First and foremost, I am continuing to get familiar with the community. Fully understanding the school and its functions is essential to being successful in my role. Furthermore, I am maintaining campus compliance with current guidelines as provided by Washington State Department of Health, King County Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, I have developed our COVID-19 Health & Safety Handbook to clearly define our policies and procedures surrounding the ongoing pandemic.

Can you describe what needs to be in place for The Northwest School to safely open its doors to students and teachers?

In order to safely open our doors to students and teachers there is a lot that takes place behind the scenes. Leadership and I are collaborating to create a comprehensive plan of return. The foundation for a safe return is the implementation of our COVID-19 Health & Safety Handbook. It is important that we clearly communicate what our COVID-19 policies and procedures look like in order to have everyone on the same page moving forward. Although the return to Northwest will look different than in previous years, we will come back safer and stronger than before.