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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Sabrina Hellman

School Nurse

Sabrina Hellman Portrait
Know Your Pelicans

Can you describe a favorite or memorable moment you've had at Packer?

The seniors who are graduating this year I met when they were in fourth grade. They blew me away as they roamed the building in their Little Lincoln’s costume reciting the Gettysburg Address. It’s really impossible to choose one memorable moment, but I have to say, watching students grow up and develop their talents and confidence brings me a lot of joy. Whenever I have the opportunity to get into the classroom, it is always the highlight of my week. Also, Packer dance concerts always give me goosebumps.

Tell me about a time when you've learned something from a student.

Working in the healthcare industry can be extremely demanding, and I took the position of school nurse at Packer as an act of selfcare. I am an alum of Packer, and I loved the idea of returning to this nurturing school. I never would have imagined that I would make new best friends, and even after 9 years, I am still learning new things from students and teachers every single day.

Name a book/artwork/piece of music that changed your life and explain how.

The garden of the Sanzen-in Temple outside of Kyoto, Japan is probably the most impactful work of art I have experienced. I studied the temple while I was living in Japan during my junior year abroad in college. Whenever I take a moment to remember my time there on one particular glorious autumn day, I am reminded of the insignificance of our worldly attachments, and it brings me back to what is important in life. 

Growing up, did you have a teacher who was particularly influential for you?

I took a sociology course in college called “Sex and Gender” that had a profound imact on the development of my personal identity and the tragectory of my career. The professor was sociologist Nancy Whittier. I discovered while taking her class that I wanted to do work that combatted the pervasive physical and institutional violence against women in a practical way. I went on to get my Masters in Midwifery and spent my career before coming to Packer taking care of women in pregnancy and childbirth and providing reproductive health care to women and adolescents.  

What is something most Packer people wouldn't guess about you?

I’m in my happy place when I’m dancing, and––even though my moves are very 90’s and embarrassing to my children––I am a pretty solid salsa dancer.

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