Campus Hero of the Issue: Mrs. Catherine McGettigan

Campus Hero of the Issue: Mrs. Catherine McGettigan

Desmond Papariello

Mrs. Catherine “Kit” McGettigan is our school nurse, and a vital part of our school. We decided to find out more about the person who has cared so much about each and every one of us for the last 20 years.


What were you doing before you were at Malvern?

Before I was at Malvern I was working at the Shipley School part time, because prior to that I was taking care of my kids. Being at Shipley part time was very good because I was able to get my feet wet with what I should expect every day as a nurse. So when I applied for this job I really felt qualified with what to expect and how to work. I don’t know if anyone knows this but I am actually the first full time nurse that Malvern ever had. Prior to me, the district nurse would come in, and mothers helped out.

Do you feel like your experience at the Shipley School really helped how you are as a nurse today?

It really did. I worked in my pediatrician’s office a little bit, I have always worked in pediatrics. But working at Shipley really helped me understand what is expected, and what to expect with students coming in, and students who have medication. It really helped me.
And the good thing about when someone told me about this job and referred me to Mr. Stewart at the time… I felt like I could do it because I had that prior experience at Shipley. When I first came here I was not that comfortable just because I did not know everyone yet. But after a few years when I really started to know everyone. I really got comfortable and made everything work with the office and what I had to do for the students. The great thing in the beginning is that I could go to Mr. Stewart or Fr. Duffy and they supported with everything I needed.

What originally drew you to this occupation?
Basically because of my love of my pediatrics, and because this job was ideal for me to be able to work and also be home with my children when they got home from school. It was so great to be able to work and spend time with my family.

How has Malvern changed since you’ve been here?
[Laughs] It has changed… The core values have not changed, but when I am at faculty meetings and I hear about all the innovative and creative things teachers are doing, I feel like the education piece has changed. I do feel that the students have more to do, and I do not know if that is a good thing or bad thing because the competition to get into college has become so great. In that respect, students used to have one activity after school. Now students are playing on three teams for a sport when it used to be just one.

What is one of the worst or saddest injuries you have had to see or work with?
This is probably one of the most difficult things I have had to endure in my twenty years here. That’s seeing a bright and energetic young freshmen come in, and eventually finding him and getting to know him and his family quite well. I got to see him over the years be diagnosed with cancer, be treated for that diagnosis, and then I eventually saw him the day before he passed away. Just seeing his strength and the strength and courage of his family… It’s just one thing I don’t think I could ever identify with or help with because you kind of feel hopeless when something like that happens.