Gladys Roann-Watson: life-long local, beloved school nurse and community leader

Debbie Snapp
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Gladys Roann-Watson has lived in the Monticello community all of her life. She was born to John and Nellie Mae Miller-Mitchel, who were also lifelong residents of the county. Growing up, Roann-Watson was educated in the Jefferson County School District, where she graduated from Howard Academy High School.
After graduating from the local school district, Roann-Watson continued her education at Florida State University, where she earned her Bachelors of Science degree and Master of Social Work degree from one of the nation's top-ranked and most distinguished programs in the nation.
Returning to Jefferson County after obtaining her furthered education, Roann-Watson became a public school nurse in the county. She remained in that role for over 37 years, in addition to working two years for the Madison County Health Department as a Parents-As-Teachers Coordinator. Her other experience and leadership roles include being a member of the Jefferson County School Board and she was one of the original members of the Jefferson, Madison and Taylor County Healthy Start Coalition, where she continues to serve as a board member for the coalition.
Locally, Roann-Watson remains engaged in the lives of students and teachers through being a part of the boards for the Jefferson County Youth Council, the Jefferson County Teacher’s Credit Union and the Howard Academy Educational & Recreational Council. She is also a board member of the Jefferson County Historical Society, the Jefferson County Education Foundation and the Friends of the Community.
Roann-Watson has always been, and will always be, an advocate for the children in Jefferson County. Her compassion for children keeps her busy with community civic group functions, church activities and events.
Making a difference in the life of a child and lending a helping hand when a child needs one is what's most important in her life. It's her passion and her God-given gift in life. She makes it her mission to help those families that are financially challenged or facing financial challenges.
Roann-Watson has three children of her own: Karmen Roann Williams, Keith Roann and Glenwood Miller. She is also blessed with three grandchildren.
She is married to Kent T. Watson, a retired Senior Chief Warrant Officer who served nearly 35 years in the United States Army. Chief Watson is the Southeastern Region Fraud Prevention Inspector, which keeps him busy as a consultant for the National Center for Medicare and Medicaid.
During her years as a public school nurse, Roann-Watson led the local effort to make sure that every financially impacted Jefferson County child would feel the delight and magic of Christmas by receiving a Christmas gift of their own. That effort has now been taken up by the J.O.Y. program, which continues to make Christmastime magical for Jefferson County’s financially restrained families and children.
Throughout her years of service, love and care for Jefferson County’s children, no challenge has ever been too large for this very well-respected woman, Gladys Roann-Watson.
Looking towards the future and the upcoming new year of opportunity, Roann-Watson says that she plans to travel more - but regardless of where life and travel take her, she will continue to stay connected to what's happening in her home of Jefferson County.