School Nurse counts down days until retirement


Jesse Karstetter, Reporter

Each day school nurse Carol Madden rips a link off the paper chain in her office to countdown to her retirement. Madden completed her nursing degree in 1976 at Polyclinic Hospital School of Nursing and received her Bachelor’s degree from the College of Saint Francis and masters Degree in Health Education from Penn State. Madden then went on to become the school nurse at Big Spring High School as a long term sub in 1994. Madden moved back and forth to the Middle School for 2 years before moving back up to the High school. However, this year is the year she will retire.

After her retirement Madden said, “I’ll have the freedom to do anything, but I enjoy nursing so potentially more nursing is in my future.” She is also interested in gardening. Her favorite memory at the high school is when she was called in to help find and return a special olympic swimmer who had also lost his clothes.

Madden also will be going on her 40th year with a nursing license. Last year, she won the Highmark School Nurse of South Central Pennsylvania. She has not only been a nurse during her time at Big Spring, but also helped with Student Council and was an adviser for Club CARE for many years. Because of her nursing degrees, she has had the opportunity to go to Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti to perform humanitarian work.also worked in home health care for a while before opening an adult clinic, then coming to Big Spring to stay. Madden added, “Nursing gives you so many opportunities to travel, meet you people and learn you things.”

Nathan Gutshall, a teacher who has worked with Madden for many years, said, “I’m sad to hear about her retirement. She was here since I’ve been here. She’s very caring but very realistic with you and does a really good job.” During Madden’s time here, she’s made many friends. In fact, Christa Daugherty said, “ She’s fantastic at her job and I’m going to miss “Doc” Madden.” And Dean Smith said, “She rocks and she will be missed greatly. She was really good at her job.” Even younger teachers who have not worked with Madden as long like Mike Berry said, “Carol is a really good school nurse, goes above and beyond the call of duty as a school nurse.”

Everyone will greatly miss Carol Madden as through the years she has done an excellent job as a school nurse.  Madden wants to send her regards to anyone who came to her for help, and promises she will continue to give that warm welcome to everyone.