Cook helps and heals student body

Bella Gollomp, Staff Writer

There are many reasons why students visit the nurse’s office, and it’s not always because they’re ill or looking for quality filtered water. Rather, people come to see the one special person who contributes to making Staples a warm environment.

“Goofball,” “sweetheart” and “hidden gem” are only a few of the words that Staples students use when asked to describe her.

Who is this friendly face behind the nurse’s desk? Christine Cook, of course.

Cook joined the Staples staff four years ago and, since then, has gained local fame in the Staples community. She claims it all started with the water filter located in the nurses’ office.

“Once the word got around about our great-tasting water, kids ditched the water fountains and piled in,” Cook said. “It’s funny because I’m normally a shy person, but since so many kids would come in and out of the office daily, I was forced to make conversation.”

Whether students come in to see the nurses, fill up water bottles or to chat about life, Cook is always open to greeting new faces.

Because she came to Staples four years ago, she has a special bond with the senior class.

Isaac Paparo ’15 is a frequent visitor to Cook’s office. He says that over the years she has been there for him with anything and everything. He even refers to her as having become “one of the boys.”

“Ms. Cook is the best. There is no other way to put it,” Paparo said. “I visit her everyday, about two or three times. She’s honestly one of the nicest people in school and practically knows everybody.”

Cook knows a lot of students by name, but she didn’t learn them by reading the yearbook or making flash cards.

Instead, she was inspired to learn names by yet another well-known figure at Staples: Principal John Dodig.

When Cook joined the school, she took notice of Dodig greeting students in the morning when they arrived. She also noted when he went to lunch waves or helped board the buses at dismissal.

“I’d listen to him talk to kids, and he always seemed to know something specific about each person,” she said. “I figured if he can do it, so can I.”

Cook has also made a lasting impression on Griffin Thrush ’15.

“I’ve gone to see Ms. Cook during my lunch periods and even frees just because she is a great [person],” Thrush said. “She’s become one of my best friends to the extent where she is even mentioned in my senior write up.”

Cook will continue to put smiles upon the faces of the Staples community even after her beloved class of 2015 is gone.

“I’m inspired everyday by you guys,” Cook said. “Each of you are just so with it and driven individuals. I honestly love you all.”