Carrboro High Nurse Shares Her Story of Working in a Community That Feels Like Family

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TOP ROW Sam Walker, 17, Jamil Elbahlawan, 14. Second row: Angel Velez, 15, Carlisle Mills, 16, Taylor Gwynne, 15, Caleb French, 14. Third row: Rashel Torres, 16, Kathryn Watson, Fiona Galinsky, 15. Bottom row: Isabel Simmons, 15. Photo by Briana Brough

Like many in her field, Kathryn Watson went into nursing because she wanted to make a difference. “I wanted to be part of a greater good and to begin a path that would enable me to learn and challenge myself every day.”

She found that in her role at Carrboro High School. “As with any job, there are challenges, and a school is an extremely busy and changing environment,” she explains. She finds the opportunity to learn from the network of nurses in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district especially helpful. “Through our collaboration and teamwork, we address and resolve issues quickly and are always there to bounce things off of one another and help where we can.”

A registered nurse since 2009, Kathryn has spent her entire nursing career with CHCCS. She especially enjoys the strong mentality at Carrboro High, which she describes as an incredible family. “My favorite part of my job is working with the students and being part of our school community.”

One student recently made a big impact on Kathryn. “A girl starting here as a freshman moved here from Mexico and found out she needed a kidney transplant,” she says. “I was her liaison, between doctors at UNC, managing her medications, the complications from the surgery. She never once let her health get in the way and graduated on time. Being there for her was one of the highlights of my career.”

In addition to working as a school nurse, Kathryn spends summers and the occasional weekend at the UNC Hospitals Emergency Department. “Being part of these two amazing teams has enabled me to be involved in our town on a greater level, bringing together resources from both school and the hospital,” she says.

Daughter Tanner, a senior at UNC, also volunteers in the UNC emergency room with Kathryn. “I never tried to persuade her to go into nursing,” she says. “When I learned of her interest, I was so proud. I told her what a big difference she had the opportunity to make, by helping others and being involved in their physical and mental care.”

Kathryn also met husband Chad at UNC. A former lacrosse national champ, Chad now directs the Fusion Lacrosse program. Their older son, McCabe, is a senior at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, and younger son Wade is in eighth grade at Culbreth Middle School. Both boys play lacrosse. The family, which includes a black lab puppy named Bear, enjoys trips to Sup Dogs, Crook’s Corner and UNC lacrosse and field hockey games.

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Morgan Weston

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