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FHN Nurse Heather Marren Wins 2021-22 Support Staff of the Year


Credit to Aadhi Sathiskumar

FHN Nurse Heather Marren sits at her desk in the nurse’s office.

By Aadhi Sathishkumar

On Monday, Jan. 24, Heather Marren, nurse at FHN, was announced support staff of the year. Marren has worked at FHN for three years, and has been heavily involved in the safety of students and staff. Marren has also had to manage the school’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think Mrs. Marren is fantastic, she brings a smile to everyone that she meets,” Spanish teacher and district professional development representative Brian Santos said. “She’s done an exemplary job of providing health and wellness checks for all the students.”

Marren’s job as a nurse typically involves office visits, where students go to the nurse to receive medical help. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Marren also had to manage quarantines, communicating district policy on the pandemic and interviewing those testing positive for COVID-19. As a result, Marren’s job has gotten much more involved than it previously would have been.

“It has been probably a hundred times more stressful than a normal year,” Marren said when asked about how her job has changed. “I can handle a whole lot more than I ever thought I could, because you just have to.”

Marren’s job involves more than just what students can see when they walk into her office. Even when there is no one in the office seeking medical care, Marren may still be busy with a variety of paperwork necessary to the safety of students and staff in the school. 

“We do a lot more behind the scenes than it appears,” Marren said. “If you don’t see anyone here, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are not working. Right now, we’re doing freshman hearing and vision, we’re trying to make sure next year’s seniors are compliant with vaccines, so there’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes people don’t know.”

Around the building, Marren is well known and liked by both students and staff. Most students have had to go to the nurse, and as a result Marren is a big part of the community of FHN. Staff also appreciate Marren’s communication skills and commitment to a safe environment. 

“Marren is very team oriented. She provides information to the staff, is cognizant of changes in COVID-19 and informs staff about those changes as well, and she is very good in being communicative,” Santos said. “She pretty much knows every student in the building.”

Marren hopes to continue to perform and expand her job for the well-being of the FHN community. She has not received any other recognition for her work, and was somewhat surprised by the announcement.

“Dr. Santos came over and brought me to the main office,” Marren said. “I was shocked, and very embarrassed, I don’t like being the center of attention. I was very honored at the same time.”