Roseann McLaughlin, 62, who died in a Haverford Township fire Friday night, set a high bar for the job of school nurse during her 15 years at the Overbrook School for the Blind in West Philadelphia.

"She really struck me as someone who was incredibly devoted and really impacted the lives of students and staff in ways that in my experience as a school administrator expanded parameters of what you envision as a school nurse," Todd Reeves, the school's chief executive and director, said Saturday.

Roseann McLaughlin, with her daughter, Casey, who also works at the Overbrook School for the Blind, in an undated photo.
Overbrook School for the Blind
Roseann McLaughlin, with her daughter, Casey, who also works at the Overbrook School for the Blind, in an undated photo.

As an example of McLaughlin's extraordinary work, Reeves cited her creation of a farm-to-table program. It has provided better nutrition for the school's students, some of whom really benefited from it, said Reeves, who started at Overbrook in July 2017.

McLaughlin, who used a wheelchair, was a nurse practitioner and the health services coordinator at the nonprofit school. It serves about 200 students, according to its website.

"She served as the cornerstone and really the pivot person for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our students," Reeves said. "She really did so in exemplary fashion."

In a Facebook post, Reeves wrote: "Roseann's loss is one that brings great sadness to our school community."

The note went on to say that a GoFundMe campaign has been set up for McLaughlin's daughter, Casey, a member of the school's Kappen Aquatic Center staff, and grandson, Michael.

A school spokesperson for Overbrook said the school had no information on services or on the cause of the fire.

Township officials did not respond to a request for additional information about the fire, which was reported at 5:53 p.m. in the 900 block of Larchmont Avenue in Haverford Township, a county dispatcher said.