Samaria Stevenson and family

The Stevenson family is close-knit. On couch, from left, are Samaria, Lennie and Ronnie; on floor, Ronald; and at back, Quenton and Justin.

The novel coronavirus outbreak has hit hard in schools, health-care facilities and churches, but what happens when your livelihood involves all three?

Samaria Stevenson, school nurse for nearly 20 years for Greenwood High, Greenwood Middle and Davis Elementary, says faith helps keep her grounded in times of such uncertainty.

Stevenson is a member of Salem Missionary Baptist Church and has been using prayer circles by telephone to keep her relationship with God strong and stay involved.

She was born and raised in Greenwood and has attended Salem all her life. “My grandparents were members, and it’s the family church,” she said.

When asked what she’s been doing to adjust to the new way of life in response to the virus, she responded with just one word: “Praying.”

She has four children with her husband of 31 years, Ronnie, who is the president of the Greenwood City Council. Two of their children are at home with her from college due to closures from the coronavirus outbreak.

“They don’t want to be home with Momma,” Stevenson said with laughter. “It’s a change of lifestyle with them. I’m asking them to clean. We’re glad to be together in one space, but in another space it’s like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’”

She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing and applied for the school nurse job to be closer to her kids. “I could keep up with their school work,” she said. “I’m very grateful that I got the job because I learned so much now through the years — how to help my children with their schoolwork and how to have patience.

“Outside looking in, you don’t see what the instructors go through. You have to have patience with being a mother and a professional,” she added. “My heart goes out to them. I’m constantly praying for the educators.”

When schools closed in the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District due to COVID-19, she worked with other staff members to ensure things were disinfected and supplies got to whoever needed them.

“I’m hoping everybody is being safe,” she said. “This is something new to the world.”

Contact Kerrigan Herret at 581-7233 or

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