Jeanne Auerbach worked as the school nurse at KO from 2011-2018. In her time at KO, Mrs. Auerbach was known for her compassion, hard work, and dedication to caring for students. She passed away on Oct. 14, at 62 years old from cancer.
When remembering Mrs. Auerbach’s impact on the community, there is one thing that everybody will remember: her commitment to helping students. Whatever the problem, whether it be physical or emotional, big or small, Mrs. Auerbach was dedicated to doing the most she could to help. “She loved kids and loved adolescents and teenagers in particular,” Director of Academic Planning Carolyn McKee said. “I appreciated the conversations that she would have where she would either help figure out what a kid may need in terms of either health-related things or just kind of emotional support.”
Going above and beyond for students was an everyday undertaking for Mrs. Auerbach. Athletic Trainer Julie Richardson began working at the same time as Mrs. Auerbach, and they worked closely to ensure the health of student-athletes. “She always put the students first, no matter what. Even if she had her five dogs at home that needed to go out, she would leave her dogs there but make sure that all the students were taken care of with 110% care,” she said, “because that’s what she lived for was the students.”
Mrs. Auerbach not only left her mark on KO with her caring heart, but also with her passion for healthcare in general. “She brought an awareness around health procedures,” Mrs. McKee said. “She was really good about reminding people about flu season; we had a couple of times when she was here we had to deal with H1N1, so she was really good at kind of helping the school respond. She was always thinking ahead.”
She also worked with helping students with concussions manage school and brought new concussion protocols to KO. Athletic Trainer Steve Cannata agreed that her passion for her job was evident by her diligence and care. “She was kind; the job to her was more than just seeing who was sick and sending people home,” he said. “She would follow up and continue to care about what was going on after she initially met you, so I think what people should remember about her is that she was very thoughtful and involved.”
Her care didn’t just extend to the nurse’s office, but to every aspect of her life. Mr. Cannata recalls their Monday morning conversations not only about weekend athletic injuries, but also her genuine interest in the lives of others. “She was always interested in what was going on and just in peoples’ lives,” he said. “She wanted to know more than just who was hurt and she cared about the whole person.” Mrs. Richardson said she agreed. “She just put everyone first, and not a lot of people do that. She always went above and beyond to do her work,” she said.
Mrs. Auerbach’s compassion was further apparent in her extensive volunteer work. “She was involved outside of school; she did a lot of charity work, and she just tried to help in any way she could,” Mr. Cannata said.
At her memorial service on Monday, Oct. 21, her family requested that guests make donations to either the Connecticut Humane Society or a rescue animal shelter instead of bringing flowers.
“She was a great human being who cared for students immensely,” Mrs. Richardson said. KO will miss Mrs. Auerbach’s kindness and warmth, and wish her family all the best.