GUILFORD, Maine — Paisley Hays, 9, was rather pale and shaky when she left her Piscataquis Community Middle School classroom on a recent day to visit the school nurse.

“I feel like I’m going to throw up,” Paisley whispered to nurse Sharon Foster.

Wrapping her arm around the young girl’s shoulder to comfort her, Foster asked Paisley if she would like to lie down on a cot in her office.

“Did you throw up a little already?” the nurse quizzed the girl as she took Paisley’s temperature and learned the pupil had a little fever. Offering her a cup of water, Foster cautioned Paisley to sip it slowly and then headed to her office to call Paisley’s grandmother.

Foster, 54, doesn’t kiss the booboos or hand out suckers, but the affection and attention the SAD 4 school nurse shows the injured and ill are enough to soothe their pain and calm their nerves.

Her compassion, affable smile, work ethic and attention to detail were among the qualities that earned Foster the recognition of her peers, who named the Dexter woman Maine School Nurse of the Year.

“Sharon is the classic example of what a school nurse should be,” SAD 4 Superintendent Paul Stearns said last week. SAD 4 encompasses the towns of Guilford, Sangerville, Abbot, Parkman, Cambridge and Wellington.

In a letter of recommendation to the Maine Association of School Nurses in support of her nomination, Stearns wrote that Foster is extraordinarily efficient, an excellent problem solver, and an outstanding medical professional who has impeccable judgment and a wonderful demeanor.

Foster, an alumna of Piscataquis Community High School in SAD 4, is flattered by the attention but says she doesn’t do anything that other nurses don’t do on a daily basis.

That’s not how Nancy Hoskins, SAD 48’s school nurse, who nominated Foster, sees it. She said Foster goes above and beyond her duties, having encouraged Hoskins to get her bachelor’s degree and then mentored her along the way. In addition, she said Foster’s care and compassion are focused not only on schoolchildren but also on the staff, and she works collaboratively with other school nurses.

“She always seems to be available no matter how busy she is,” Hoskins said.

That pleases James Fagan, a sixth-grade Piscataquis Community Middle School pupil, who has diabetes and relies on an insulin pump for treatment of his condition.

“She always helps me,” Fagan, who also wrote a letter of recommendation in support of Foster’s nomination, said Friday. “She’s special because she’s really, really nice.”

Foster, who has spent more than 17 years as a school nurse with stints in SAD 46 in Dexter and SAD 48 in Newport, wants nothing more than to see students and staff be well.

She also would like to see a school nurse in every school in northern Maine, simply because school nurses are dealing with more complicated issues nowadays, from seizures to diabetes. She noted that many schools in southern Maine already have nurses.

Not content to treat just symptoms and injuries, Foster also works for prevention and the total wellness of students and staff, Stearns said. He noted that she also takes it upon herself to make arrangements for children who live at the poverty level to attend Camp Postcard and Camp Susan Curtis.

“This is not typical of the duties of a school nurse but Sharon’s contribution is far beyond typical in many ways,” Stearns said.