Prior to coming to GOA, Nurse Roberta worked in virtually all areas of nursing — from hospitals and home care settings to offices and schools. Through the pandemic, Nurse Roberta has been working with other private schools who are a resource for one another and meets with the GOA Health Committee on a regular basis and as needed. In her spare time, Nurse Roberta loves to spend time with her husband Howard and her 14-year-old dog, Snoop Dogg. She also enjoys walking and reading.
Upper School Nurse
While Nurse Ilena had always dreamed of being an astronaut as a young girl, she actually began her studies of the sciences at the University of Pennsylvania as a biology major but switched to the nursing school after two years. She began her career as a hospital nurse working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), caring for premature infants and providing comfort to their families. After working in the NICU for years, Nurse Ilena transitioned into outpatient pediatrics, camp nursing and school nursing. She recently celebrated five years working here at GOA. “I love the people here — the students, faculty and staff — and coming to work each morning is a pleasure,” she said. “Building relationships with my students and other staff is very important to me. If people know that they can trust me, they will come to me in times of need. We are very lucky here at GOA to have such a truly caring community.”
One of her favorite GOA experiences was chaperoning the 2017 Na’ale trip to Israel. “What an amazing trip it was,” said Nurse Ilena. “It allowed me to really bond with the 9th grade students — something that I treasured as they made their way through high school here.”
Beyond her role as nurse, Nurse Ilena chairs the Health & Wellness committee, where she works with other faculty to bring mental health and wellness programming and education to students, teachers and parents. Outside of school, she loves to read and participate in book clubs, plays the flute in two different community bands and enjoys cooking, baking, outdoor activities and spending time with her children and dog Cliff. Of course, she also loves a good mah jongg game!