School Nurse Feature: Celine Beers, Danforth

     Published on 5/9/16   Tagged under:    District News    Danforth Magnet School   

After losing her mother at age nine, Celine Beers recalls a teacher sewing a missing button back onto her coat. Another knitted her a hat. These early experiences, she says, are part of the reasons she takes such pleasure in her role as Nurse at Danforth Middle School—and part of the reason she knows most of the 400-plus students by name.
 
Her day begins before 8 am and there are some days she doesn’t leave until after 5 pm, staying to catch up on paperwork. “The day goes quick,” she said. “It doesn’t stop!”
 
Sometimes, Ms. Beers will see 60-80 students each day, distributing student medication, checking temperatures, providing ice packs and more. But aside from the standard nurse duties, she said her role is also to help bridge the gap with families, serving as someone else to keep an eye on students and their health—both physical and emotional.
 
“Sometimes, the kids flock here for kindness,” she explained. “I love these kids. Sometimes, they are just looking for a quiet place and someone who will listen and give their full attention. In my office, they know someone will be here to listen.”
 
A nurse since 1975, Ms. Beers is just completing her second year as a school nurse at Danforth. She worked as a dialysis nurse for 25 years, holding positions at St. Joseph’s Hospital, the American Red Cross and Franciscan Home Health Care.
 
But after a while, she said, the monotony grew old. “I missed the contact with people. When I started working in the 1970s, it was all about reaching out and helping people.” Hence the move to Danforth.
 
As the school nurse, Ms. Beers said one of the joys of her role comes from educating the students—on everything from skincare and hand hygiene to the importance of staying hydrated.
 
Each year around the holidays, she heads to a wholesale store and purchases socks and underwear for students who may need them. She doles out chap stick and mints, and she has even taken the time to mend clothing that has seen better days (“I’m a knitter,” she said. “What is it to me to take two minutes to help?”).
 
Despite going above and beyond in her own duties, Ms. Beers is humble, quick to praise her colleagues at Danforth for their own efforts in supporting students.
 
“Everyone at Danforth works so hard,” she praised. “We all do what we can to help—that makes me feel like I’m doing my job well.”
 
Thank you, Ms. Beers, for all you do!