Award Honorees

Rogene (Hanson) Meriwether ‘76

Rogene (Hanson) Meriwether ‘76 is dedicated to making a difference through her work in healthcare. From volunteering as a Candy Striper as a student to joining the District as a nurse, she demonstrates compassion and excellence.

Born and raised in Minnetonka, Meriwether believes that her MHS classes prepared her well for her future. “As a freshman in college I was studying material that I had already learned in high school," said Meriwether. "I feel very fortunate for the education I had at Minnetonka."

Volunteering as Candy Striper at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park during her junior year helped Meriwether discover her passion for nursing. After graduating from Augustana College in South Dakota, she began her nursing career at Methodist Hospital. She worked there for 18 years, primarily in the Medical-Surgical ICU. Afterwards, she worked as a writer for a medical marketing firm. It wasn't long before Meriwether missed connecting directly with patients and  returned to nursing and her alma matre as a school nurse at MHS.

One of the biggest challenges Meriwether faced in her 20 year career at MHS occurred during the SARS and COVID-19 pandemics. The two events were nearly two decades apart, and occured at opposite ends of her career, but had many similarities to one another in their impact on the school environment. Meriwether worked tirelessly to help inform, guide, and support Minnetonka students and families, even though she faced a huge task and endured long, intense hours.

“With any challenge, you need to rise to the occasion,” Meriwether emphasized. “Our health office had two people to manage and care for 3400+ students. I think it is critical to brainstorm with others to come up with ideas for managing issues—great ideas come from this!”

Ultimately, Meriwether’s hard work and dedication to her line of work paid off, and she made incredible contributions to the relief needed in the wake of both outbreaks. She offered a few pieces of advice to current Minnetonka students.

“Take care of your health and body," advised Meriwether. "It’s the only one you have. Let humor into your life. Humor is a great way to defuse a stressful time and give life a good balance.”



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