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Health & Wellness

The driving principle of our Health and Wellness Program is the belief that good health improves academic performance, promotes balance, and reduces stress. 

We support this philosophy by bringing together our health educators, nurses, learning specialists, psychologists, teachers, deans, and division heads. Through this integration, our program promotes a healthy and balanced school culture, which fuels achievement as well as respect for oneself and for others.

Packer’s Health and Wellness Team offers an integrated K-12 curriculum that provides our students with knowledge, training and tools, and supports for physical and social-emotional health, which is fundamental to Packer’s pledge of supporting and nurturing children. We partner with families and communicate frequently to address and alleviate problems before they grow into a larger crisis. Our experiences and research show that an integrated health and wellness program supports students and helps them thrive physically, emotionally, socially, and academically.

Health Education

Health Education 

The foundation of our health and wellness program is the Health Education department. Packer has four health educators, three with master’s degrees in public health. Beginning in Kindergarten, students are introduced to our health education curriculum through age-appropriate and developmentally applicable topics and personal experiences. Learn more about our curriculum in Academics.

Parent Talks

Packer’s health education faculty offers regular coffee talks for parents and caregivers throughout the year on topics that include social-emotional development, adolescent sexuality, gender identity, and substance abuse prevention. Our goal is to partner with families by addressing their questions, discussing relevant data, and providing tools that spark discussions at home about health issues that are pertinent to Packer students. 

Peer Support 

To help students prepare for transitions in their academic journey, every 7th Grader and 9th Grader has a pair of mentors — 11th and 12th graders identified and trained through a highly selective process. In weekly meetings, younger students receive support and informal counseling while the older students have opportunities to develop their leadership and facilitation skills.

Eric Baylin

Art Teacher

Liz Ann Doherty

School Nurse

Jeremy Hawkins

Health Teacher

Tené Howard

Director of Global Programs and Community Engagement

Bridget Londay

Health Department Head

Louis Minsky

Computer Science Teacher and Integrator

Bessie Oster

Health Teacher and Middle School Dean of Life

Ashleigh Petillo

Health Teacher

Semeka Smith-Williams

Director of Diversity and Equity

Russell Tombline

Physical Education Department Head, Coach: Girls 7th/8th Grade Volleyball, Girls Varsity Basketball, Girls Varsity Softball

Nurses' Office

The Nurses’ Office serves Packer students and the school community by protecting and promoting health and wellness. Our nurses collaborate with faculty and administrators to promote a healthy school culture, by supporting students’ ongoing medical issues, partnering with families and doctors while a student recovers, and advocating for students who have persistent health issues.  When necessary, our nurses support students by providing faculty with pertinent information while maintaining students’ medical-information confidentiality. 

A registered nurse is available for students who are injured or who become ill during the school day. The nurse will communicate with parents about significant illnesses and injuries that may happen during school hours and will contact parents to make arrangements for children to go home as needed. 

Our nurses work closely with our Athletic coaches and trainers, psychologists, deans, and faculty, as well as with families, doctors, and teachers to support the unique needs of each student. They also serve the students by co-teaching subjects with members of the faculty, such as the Sixth Grade's first aid unit of Health Education and the Anatomy & Physiology science elective in the Upper School.

Nurses' Office Resources


When is the Nurses' Office Open?

The Nurses’ Office on the main campus is staffed by two full-time registered nurses and an assistant between 8:10 am and 3:30 pm every regular school day. 

A third full-time registered nurse is on staff at the Packer Early Learning Center during regular school hours.

What is Packer's Health Form Procedure?

Packer uses an electronic health records system, or “Health Portal,” called Magnus Health. Information is saved from year to year to make health form submissions as efficient and accurate as possible. Parents are expected to (1) log in to Magnus before the start of every school year to complete the student health history parent questionnaire, and (2) submit physician signed annual physical exam and doctor's orders every 12 months, from the date of the last physical exam. Having current, comprehensive and accurate health information allows the school to provide the best care for your child and provides a safe school environment for all.

What is Packer's Severe Food Allergies Policy?

Packer is an “allergy aware” school. For details on the School policy please see the Family Handbook.

Students in 2nd Grade and below are not permitted to eat any food that on campus that is not brought from home.

Middle School and Upper School students with severe allergies must carry their EpiPens when on campus and at off-campus Packer activities.

What is Packer's Immunization Policy?

Packer strictly adheres to New York State's Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance. Learn more at

*As of June 13, 2019, there is no longer a religious exemption to the requirement that children be vaccinated against measles and other diseases to attend either public, private, or parochial school (for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade) or child day care settings.

Meet our Nurses

Margret Cormack

Nurse Assistant

Liz Ann Doherty

School Nurse
School: 259

Sabrina Hellman

School Nurse
School: 259

Lisa Talarico

School Nurse/ Administrative Assistant
School: 269


Packer’s three psychologists specialize in the developmental stages of young children through adolescence. They also offer family education through regular morning and evening talks for families. Parents and guardians are welcome to bring questions directly to our psychologists in their offices.

Meet our Psychologists

Annette Hernandez

Pre and Lower School Psychologist

Carlos Prieto

Upper School Psychologist
School: 297

Joshua Srebnick

Middle School Psychologist
School: 215

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